Oregon Updates Community Solar Rules on Dispute Resolution and Status Revocation

On March 8, 2022, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (the Commission) updated its community solar program (CSP) rules to clarify the procedures for dispute resolution and status revocation. Community solar allows ratepayers to support solar projects by subscribing to a share of a project’s output. The Oregon Solar + Storage Industries Association (OSSIA) was the only stakeholder to provide written comments. OSSIA and Commission Staff reached agreement on almost all of the proposed rule language. 

Regarding dispute resolution, the prior rules indicated that complaints should go first to a Project Manager and then be escalated as necessary up to the Commission. The Commission retained this process but provided clarifications, and the Commission added new text to indicate that Project Managers may use the Commission’s contested case procedures to resolve disputes with another Program Manager, a utility, Commission Staff, or the Program Administrator.

Regarding status revocation, the Commission adopted a new rule to indicate when and how the Commission could revoke a Project Manager or CSP project’s authorization to participate in the CSP. The new rule indicates any status revocation will involve reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing, and it identifies specific grounds for revocation.

Regarding Program Manager obligations, the Commission adopted new rule text regarding whether Project Managers must provide information that the Program Administrator or Staff requests to make decisions about Project Manager participation and status in the program. OSSIA recommended specifying that the information requests must be necessary specifically to ascertain compliance with program rules. The Commission adopted OSSIA’s proposed text as an illustrative example. The Commission also indicated that Project Managers could pursue the complaint process if information requests become problematic. OSSIA and Staff agreed on other aspects of the rule, including the reasonableness and burdensomeness of information requests and the protection of confidential information.

Sanger Law PC represented OSSIA in the rulemaking.

OSSIA advocates for clean, renewable, solar technologies. OSSIA members include businesses, non-profit groups, and other solar industry stakeholders.

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.