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Thu July 11, 2013
Protest Of Proposed Solar Rebate End By Kansas City Utility
A Kansas City-based alternative energy company will protest a request by KCP&L to stop giving solar rebates in Missouri. The utility calculates the rebates are too costly.
The program is an outgrowth of 2008 passage of Proposition C to support a renewable energy standard. It required utilities to start offering solar rebates in 2010 and indefinitely.
KCP&L argued funds have been depleted, and the utility has requested permission to stop offering solar rebates after September 3.
The Missouri Public Service Commission has given those for and against the proposal to file their arguments by July 30.
Jeff Risley of Britergy, a sometime partner in projects with the utility, says his firm will ask the Public Service Commission to reject the proposal based on incorrect assumptions on a one-year time frame.
Risley says there is a logic that should spread across the accounting system because, “they take the costs of a coal plant, for example, and amortize those over the life of the coal plant, 30 years.” So, says Risley, “one of our arguments will be that these costs should be amortized over at least 10 years or 20 or 25.”
That is the expected life of a solar energy system which he likens to an energy production plant and not unlike a coal fired generator.
Risley says the utility proposal should not jeopardize the just-announced solar energy plan at St. Francis Xavier Church in Kansas City, Mo., which is adding 84 solar roof panels.
The installation is described as providing a third of the Troost Avenue church’s full electrical use over a 20-year lifetime of lease of the 25 kilowatt power system.