Oregon Commission Approves PacifiCorp’s Voluntary Renewable Energy Tariff

On December 16, 2022 the Oregon Public Utility Commission (Commission) approved PacifiCorp’s request for a general rate revision. The Oregon Commission approved a revenue requirement of approximately $51.4 million, representing a 3.9% increase from its previous rates. The Commission also approved new rates for the Power Cost Adjustment Mechanism (PCAM) and the Transition Adjustment Mechanism (TAM), and later in the proceeding approved a new green tariff for PacifiCorp. 

The various intervening parties entered into multiple stipulations, which resolved nearly all contested issues. The Commission resolved the final contested issue in an order on February 17, 2023. The final contested issue concerned PacifiCorp’s Accelerated Commitment Tariff (ACT), which is PacifiCorp’s first voluntary renewable energy tariff (VRET) or green tariff in Oregon. VRETs enable participating customers to pay for and obtain a cleaner supply than the system average.

The parties that filed testimony addressing PacifiCorp’s proposed ACT included Staff, the Citizens’ Utility Board (CUB), Vitesse, LLC (Vitesse), Walmart, and the Northwest & Intermountain Power Producers Coalition (NIPPC). PacifiCorp, Staff, CUB, Vitesse, Walmart and NIPPC reached a stipulation with PacifiCorp on the ACT. Among other things, the stipulation provides that: 1) the ACT will be capped at 175 aMW but there is a specified process for eligible customers to request an expansion; 2) participating customers have the option to propose a resource under the CSO and seek Commission resolution if PacifiCorp rejects the proposal; and 3) customers will subscribe to a variable share of generation rather than a specific amount, subject to PacifiCorp receiving a no-action letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) stating that the program design does not involve the sale of securities. If the SEC does not provide a no-action letter, PacifiCorp will file a new VRET proposal with the Commission.

NewSun Energy (NewSun) objected to the stipulation and expressed concerns, including that the tariff approval might authorize PacifiCorp to insist on certain performance guarantees in its contracts with independent power producers. After a hearing and briefing on NewSun’s concerns, the Commission approved the stipulation, affirming in its order that the stipulation and the ACT do not resolve the issue of performance guarantees.

Sanger Law, PC represented Vitesse in this proceeding.

Vitesse is a limited liability company that operates data processing and hosting centers in Oregon.

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.