PG&E’s Silicon Valley Technology Center

Background

PG&E filed an Application on November 1, 2010 requesting $35.6 million to finance a solar photovoltaic manufacturing development facility owned by the Silicon Valley Technology Center Solar (SVTC). PG&E filed an Amendment to its application on July 15, 2011 to reduce the funding request from $35.6 million to $17.8 million due to a change in scope for the solar facility project. In May 2012, the CPUC issued a Decision denying PG&E’s request to spend $17 million in ratepayer funds to invest in SVTC, a solar manufacturing service facility that would provide solar manufacturers with a facility for testing technology.

 

Public Advocates Office Position

While the Public Advocates Office (the Office) supports public partnerships to leverage private investment as an effective strategy for expanding efforts to reach the state’s environmental goals, the venture was not a good investment for energy utility customers.

  • The proposal was a high-risk investment that even private investors declined as too risky.
  • The project would have provided little, if any, benefit to ratepayers, allowing the developer to buy out PG&E before an IPO, thereby precluding PG&E’s customer an opportunity to benefit if the project was successful.
  • The CPUC provides other avenues for funding worthy R&D projects that compare competitive projects to determine the best investment opportunities for ratepayers.

See the Office’s Opening Comments on the Proposed Decision. 

See the Office's December 3, 2010 Protest

See the Office's August 15, 2011 Protest.

See the Office's November 21, 2011 Opening Brief.

See the Office's December 6, 2011 Reply Brief

 

Proceeding Status

The proceeding is closed.

See the Proceeding docket.