In early 2014, a law firm representing the Town of Bethlehem, NY approached Solomon to review proposals for a solar PPA system within New York's Remote Net Metering program.
rnAfter reviewing two submissions from top solar development firms, Solomon Energy drafted an independent savings analysis, in order to compare the two bids as an apples-to-apples comparison. Oftentimes with solar RFPs, solar developers will respond with various system sizes and pricing options, making it difficult to compare the bids on a level playing field.
rnDuring a careful analysis of the Town’s electric bills, Solomon recognized a potential problem with both of the proposals. In remote net metered projects structured with PPA agreements, a customer will pay a solar developer for the electricity produced by the solar array and then receive credits from the local utility for the same solar production. If the solar system is sized improperly, a customer could end up producing more electricity than it is able to receive credits for from the utility. It is within a solar developer’s best interest to maximize the size of a system, because the more electricity the system produces, the more PPA revenue they receive from the customer.
rnWith its ultimate recommendation, Solomon advised the Town to decrease the size of the proposed solar array in order to protect them from generating excess solar production. In the original proposed PPA, the Town of Bethlehem would have ended up paying for solar production to the PPA provider, while not receiving full credits from the local utility.