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CORRECTION: Hart district seeks solar credits

Corrects name of company

Posted: November 11, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 11, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Workers use a crane to lower solar panel supporting frames into place in the Valencia High School parking lot. Signal file photo by Dan Watson.

Hart district officials are working to recoup credits from Southern California Edison for excess solar power the district has generated, a move an analyst estimates could be worth tens of thousands of dollars for the district.

Solar panels installed at sites throughout the William S. Hart Union High School District sometimes generate more juice than is needed at a particular site. In such cases, electricity is exported back to the power grid and can be used elsewhere, according to Sue Hoerber, the Hart district’s chief financial officer.

In the case of the Hart district, it doesn’t earn credits with Edison for power sent back to the grid, as do some homeowners or others with solar power systems, Hoerber said.

“We are just trying to lobby Southern California Edison to be the sameas the other utility companies,” she said Friday.

A representative from ThinkWire Energy Services Inc., an energy consulting firm, gave a presentation on the matter during Wednesday’s Hart district board meeting and estimated credits could total $75,000 to $125,000 if Edison were to provide the district with historical credits for power that has already been sent to the grid.

The reason the district has not received credits thus far, Hoerber said, is that the Hart district is classified as a direct-access customer, meaning the district purchases its power from a third-party source, and in the past Edison has not given credits to those kinds of customers.

In this case, the third-party company is Shell Energy North America.

"We buy the power that we’re generating and we should be getting the credit for that,” Hoerber said.

Hoerber said Edison has not yet indicated it will give the district historical credits for power that has already been sent to the utility company.

Hart board members elected Wednesday to continue to talk and search for a mutually agreeable solution with Edison.

Should Edison refute or refuse the district’s claim, the district has the option of taking the matter up with the California Public Utilities Commission, Hoerber said.
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