DCPSC reports continued expansion of solar energy and community renewable energy facilities throughout the District

Washington, DC, May 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia (Commission) issued its Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) Report for Compliance Year 2021 to the D.C. Council. This year’s report, now available for public review, noted the significant expansion of RPS-certified solar facilities despite challenges stemming from the pandemic and other market fluctuations. Within the compliance year, the Commission approved a total of 2,337 new solar energy systems for the RPS program, including 2,077 District systems of which 82 were community renewable energy facilities (CREFs).  The Commission has certified 10,013 solar energy systems in the District, as of year-end 2021, representing 154.7 megawatts of capacity. Of these District solar energy systems, 219 were CREFs—an increase of 210 RPS-certified CREFs since 2018. The report notes a total of 12,955 solar energy systems certified for RPS. Other highlights from the report include:

  • Exceeding the estimated solar capacity of 182.3 MW required to meet the 2.5 percent solar requirement for 2021 with total RPS certified solar capacity of 191.8 MW at year-end 2021;
  • Assisting the growth of CREFs by finalizing a rulemaking that capped distribution system upgrade cost-sharing to an allocation at $500,000 per year. Subject to availability of funds, individual projects were capped at $25,000, or 50% of the upgrade costs;
  • Considering distribution system upgrade cost-sharing for non-CREFs in a rulemaking;
  • Requiring Pepco to stand up and maintain a public interconnection queue to foster transparency, accountability, and overall interconnection process efficiency. This new online feature went live in late February 2022 and allows developers and customers to view information such as facility capacity, fuel type, and status of the application; and
  • Growth in solar energy facilities certified for the RPS program continued in the first quarter of 2022, with 720 new systems added (including 42 CREFs)

“We are proud of progress that has occurred over the past year. The Commission remains committed to working with District leadership, as well as the community, to meet our renewable energy goals. We look forward to continuing to support and enhance the District’s aggressive climate goals,” said Interim Chairman Emile C. Thompson. Chairman Thompson recently testified before the Committee on Business and Economic Development where he confirmed the Commission’s focus on reduction of greenhouse gas and other harmful emissions in FY2022 and FY2023.

Every year, the Commission is required to provide an update on the status of RPS implementation. The report includes data on the number of renewable energy generators approved by the Commission and the availability of renewable resources in the District. The report also includes the number of renewable energy credits (RECs) retired by the electricity suppliers to meet the RPS requirements. The report also provides data on the compliance fees paid by electricity suppliers that did not acquire enough RECs or solar RECs to meet the RPS requirements. This RPS report fulfills the reporting requirements outlined in the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard Act as amended by the CleanEnergy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018.