Oregon Passes Revised “Feed-in Tariff” Bill

By Paul Gipe


On February 12, 2010 Oregon passed a revised “feed-in tariff” bill. The Governor signed the bill March 18, 2010.

Oregon 3690 doesn’t refer directly to “feed-in tariffs”, instead using the term “volumetric incentive rates”.

The bill defines “residential systems” as those less than 10 kW, “small commercial systems” as those greater than 10 kW but less than 100 kW.

As in Oregon’s previous bill, Oregon 3690 calls for only a small pilot program for solar PV of 25 MW.

One significant change from the 2009 law has been to change the definition of Resource value to include both the avoided cost of energy and the nonenergy attributes.

Resource value is defined as the estimated value to an electric company of the electricity delivered from a solar PV system associated with


  • The avoided cost of energy, including avoided fuel price volatility, minus the costs of firming and shaping the electricity generated from the facility
  • Avoided distribution and transmission cost, and
  • The renewable energy certificates established under Oregon law.

The resource value “may” be used to determine tariffs after the 15-year term of the contract.

Summary of the bill’s provisions.


  • Pilot program only
  • Only retail electric customers
  • 25 MW program cap or before March 31, 2015
  • Project size cap 500 kW
  • 15 year terms
  • 75% set aside for residential and small commercial systems
  • 0.25% rate impact cap
  • Costs of the program are borne by ratepayers
  • Program must be in place by July 1, 2010
  • First report to the legislature on program by January 1, 2011
  • State tax credits or other state incentives do not apply

Oregon’s New Solar Law Not a Good FIT by Jennifer Gleason–Contrary to what some commentators are saying, Oregon did not just adopt a feed-in tariff (FIT). ELAW has been working diligently to ensure that Oregon adopts a FIT because FITs have been proven to be the most effective and efficient means of moving renewables onto the grid. Sadly, Oregon’s program falls far short of the mark. . .

Oregon 3690 2010

Oregon 3039 2009