by Emma Foehringer Merchant
March 09, 2020

For residential solar customers in Utah, reimbursement for the solar power that installations export to the grid is at risk of dropping precipitously.

Under a proposal from Rocky Mountain Power, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway utility PacifiCorp with 915,000 customers in the state, the “export credit rate” given to new solar customers would drop from 9.2 cents per kilowatt-hour to an average of 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, a value that analysts say would come in well below the utility's avoided cost.

Rocky Mountain Power and solar advocates are now locked in a regulatory tussle over the true costs of solar, as the state’s Public Service Commission considers the value for exported customer-generated power. A wide gulf separates the groups’ calculated costs as well as their ideology on valuing the resource.