Oregon Commission Adopts New Standard QF Contract for All Utilities

On March 12, 2024, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (Commission) issued Order No. 24-070 in Docket No. UM 2299 related to standard contracts for small qualifying facilities (QF) 10 MW and under.  The Commission adopted one new standard contract for all utilities and directed the utilities to file compliance contracts and contracting schedules.

This docket followed the adoption of new contracting and contract rules for QFs in Docket No. AR 631.  This docket involved several rounds of comments, draft contracts, workshops, and Commission Public Meetings. 

The new standard contract is comprehensive and combines the utilities’ previous contracts into one standard contract for all utilities.  The standard contract implements the new rules adopted in AR 631 and modernizes the contract language.  See AR 631 post for more in-depth discussion of the new rules adopted that were implemented into the standard contract.  The Commission addressed many issues including allowable upgrades, security requirements, curtailment, outages, damages for delays and termination, availability guarantees, insurance requirements, an off-system addendum, distinction between utility merchant and utility transmission, parties’ representations and warranties, ownership of environmental attributes, assignment, obligation to report on development progress, waiver of jury trial, jurisdiction, and more.  The Commission also explicitly included the duty of good faith and fair dealing in the contract and stated any consent, approval, or similar action in the contract could not be unreasonably withheld, conditioned, or delayed.  The Commission limited what does not constitute Force Majeure and clarified that a Force Majeure event is a pause in contract compliance obligations that can last up to a year with the option for serial 90-day extensions if parties agree.  The utilities proposed a number of new technical provisions related to forecasting, telemetry, communication circuits, and more, but the Commission declined to include those new provisions in the standard contract without a more thorough record.  The utilities must file a standard contract that complies with this order by April 11, 2024.  Additionally, Staff must file a recommendation related to the new technical provisions within a year of this order. 

Sanger Law, PC represented the Northwest & Intermountain Power Producers Coalition (NIPPC) and the Renewable Energy Coalition (REC) in this proceeding. 

NIPPC represents electricity market participants in the Pacific Northwest, including independent power producers, electricity service suppliers, and transmission companies.  NIPPC is committed to facilitating cost-effective electricity sales, offering consumers choices in their energy supply, and advancing fair, competitive power markets.

REC advocates for reasonable Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act and interconnection policies on behalf of renewable qualifying facilities that are located in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.


These materials are intended to as informational and are not to be considered legal advice or legal opinion, nor do they create a lawyer-client relationship. Information included about previous case results does not assure a similar future result.