As a solar installer working in SCE's territory, we get messages from them on a regular basis, including those regarding the upcoming transition to NEM 2.0. But the email we received today (actually two copies of it!) was a bit, how shall we say, high-strung? Here's our take.
NEM 2.0 will occur when the first of two events occurs: SCE interconnects enough residential and commercial solar projects to reach 5.0% of its total aggregate power demand, or July 1. We have written before that SCE will never get to the 5% beforehand, so the deadline is 23:59:59 on June 30.
So we were a tad perplexed to see this email today - here's a sample:
417 MWs Remaining in NEM 1.0
As SCE gets closer to its Net Energy Metering (NEM) 1.0 Cap, we want to remind everyone of the importance of submitting complete and accurate interconnection request(s) (IRs). You should be receiving similar notifications within the online application system (i.e., PowerClerk).
Why is the 417 MWs remaining important?
For those applicants and customers with an existing IR moving through the interconnection process, we are sharing this information so that you may plan accordingly as SCE approaches its NEM 1.0 Cap. Once the cap is reached, the existing NEM tariff will close to new customers and the NEM 2.0 (NEM Successor) tariff will become available. With approximately 417 MWs remaining in the NEM 1.0 cap, this is a friendly reminder to please submit all documentation necessary for receiving service under NEM 1.0 and do so as soon as possible.
(Emphasis in the original.)
Wow - you would think that this might happen any day now, based on that language. Except that it won't - not even close.
Here are the underlying numbers: SCE's total cap is 2,240 MWs - a target it has been building toward since 2007! As of today, in SCE's territory, 1,823 MWs has been installed. That means it has taken roughly 3,595 days to install that capacity, which works out to roughly half a Megawatt per day. With 417 MWs left under the cap, and just under 58 days before July 1, we would have to be installing at the rate of 7.2 MWs/day! Uh, no. Just Not Going To Happen!
(If you would like to see exactly how much time we have before we hit the actual deadline, check out the Doomsday Clock on our Residential Solar page.)
However, the reality of that deadline does have consequences. For potential commercial clients, sorry, but you are out of luck - there is just not enough time to get a new commercial project designed, permitted, constructed, and approved before July 1.
Potential residential clients are in a slightly better position, but only slightly as your window of opportunity is rapidly closing. For example, we were booked solid for the entire month of May with just SCE projects (we have pushed everyone else back to try and help as many as possible in SCE territory meet the deadline), and we can only guarantee an approved interconnection for NEM 1.0 by mid-June. If you've been thinking about solar in SCE-land, please don't wait, call or email us today!