Letters to the Editor: Edison CEO on why California rooftop solar rules must change
Editor’s note: The CEO of the company that is behind the costliest rooftop solar project in America, has published a letter in the Los Angeles Times explaining why he is taking on the rooftop solar industry and writing to the governor. On July 1, the Sunpower subsidiary of NextEra Power, Inc. (NEE) will begin marketing the residential rooftop solar market in California, as part of the company’s mission to be the nation’s leader in residential solar projects.
In this letter, we’re not going to focus on the financial challenges that the company faces, whether it’s the high cost of power from the company’s solar projects, the state’s requirement that the projects be financed with net metering payments, or the solar companies’ high rates and low incentives in the residential market.
Instead, what I want to focus on is the larger issue of why the state and utilities are going to adopt rules that force rooftop solar companies to put customers at risk. On the whole, I think the issue is one that’s being overstated.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued a statement in May stating that the state is “committed to protecting the financial health of its retail customers from the financial risk of the solar industry, which has led to a rapid increase in the number of solar panel customers in California.”
But the letter that the CEO of the company that is behind the costliest rooftop solar project in America, has published in the Los Angeles Times explains why he is taking on the rooftop solar industry and writing to the governor.
“The issue raised in this letter is not an issue of a few bad projects, a few bad loans, or bad contracts. It is about the state of California taking on the cost of a very large number of residential solar customers — over 70,000 residential customers — in an industry without a state-run competitive bidding process, without a state-run subsidy, without a state-run bidding process, and without a state-run regulatory system.”