With More Solar Power In Oregon, Homeowners Get The Bill For Upgrading The Grid . News | OPB
Right now, PGE has more than 650 feeder lines that radiate out from substations to serve neighborhoods around the state. Only 11 of those lines have reached their capacity to receive solar power. Corson said they’re mostly in the southern part of PGE’s territory, around Salem and Turner, where the utility has seen a lot of new commercial solar developments.
Under current rules, Corson said, the costs of upgrading the grid often fall to whoever needs the upgrade to accommodate their project. PGE provides estimates of the costs and the capacity limitations to commercial solar developers during the application process. Some developers agree to pay for the upgrade costs required to install their projects, while others take a different approach.
“They might reconfigure their system just to fit right within our capacity,” he said. “And the bad news for surrounding net metering customers is that once that project has used up the capacity on the system, then the next project that comes in ends up having to foot the bill for those improvements and those upgrades.”