Transmission Access Charges - Impeding Renewable Generation
SDED partners with the Clean Coalition to reduce the cost of renewable kWh.
Most of us don't think about how kilowatt-hours (kWh) come to us. Yet the Grid is a huge, intricate and finely balanced system that delivers kWh to our communities, neighborhoods and homes. The Transmission System is one element of that system.
The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) sets the "rules of the road" for the transmission system. To do so, it balances the needs, costs and interests of transmission owners (often IOUs) against the interests of transmission users. Larger renewable energy generators need transmission access to get clean kWh to their buyers. CAISO sets fees for this access -- Transmission Access Charges (TAC).
The Clean Coalition is a clean energy think tank and SDED partner. They argue that current TAC are inaccurate and unfair to local renewable electricity generators. They've called for CAISO to address this inequity now.
Clean Coalition's graphic (right) shows that local renewable energy projects are charged twice for use of the distribution system (red circle). Since renewable kWh are used at the customer's location, assessing fees here is inaccurate and unfair. Rather, assessing TAC at the point where the generator interconnects with the transmission system (green circle) better reflects that generator's
actual use of transmission infrastructure.
Current grid rules charge local renewable generators an average of 3c/kWh more than if the TAC were calculated differently. If local renewable generators did not have to recoup TAC, their kWh would be 3c/kWh cheaper than present. Imagine the market impact of that difference.
Clean Coalition has urged CAISO to examine this issue now, in the context of other rate resetting reviews. CAISO may do so IF they see public concern in this matter.
Do you care? YES, TAC charges matter. 3c/kWh is a HUGE price inequity imposed on local renewable generators. Please review the Clean Coalition's materials (especially the Draft Comment Template) and join with Clean Coalition now.
TAKE ACTION: Transmission Access Charges