Rate Counsel Claims It Was Frozen Out of BPU Solar Settlement

May 24, 2013 – In The News
NJ Spotlight

Steven Goldenberg was quoted in the NJ Spotlight article "Rate Counsel Claims It Was Frozen Out of BPU Solar Settlement." While the full text can be found in the May 24, 2013, issue of NJ Spotlight, a synopsis is noted below.

The New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel is protesting a proposed settlement between a state agency and Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G), which would allow the state’s largest electric utility company to spend $247 million to develop solar systems across New Jersey.

Both Rate Counsel and another opponent of the proposed deal, the New Jersey Large Energy Users Coalition, argue those representing ratepayers’ interests were “systematically and deliberately excluded from a series of surreptitious settlement meetings,” according to the brief filed by the coalition.

Steven Goldenberg, an attorney for the large energy users said that when Rate Counsel and he were finally brought in to discuss the proposed settlement, it was presented largely on a “take it or leave it basis,” according to the brief filed by Goldenberg.

“Thus viewed, the stipulation is fatally defective, the product of closed-door, surreptitious negotiations, between persons unknown, who ignored the interests of ratepayers, who will ultimately pay hundreds of millions of dollars to support [the program] and solar developers whose interests are not aligned with the company’s,” Goldenberg’s brief said.

Goldenberg notes that the company’s unregulated subsidiary has developed numerous projects in other states without ratepayers’ subsidies under power-purchase agreements. “This same approach to solar development, acknowledged by Mr. [Ralph] Izzo to be a ‘win-win’ proposition for customers and shareholders is precisely the model that Rate Counsel and NJELUC have repeatedly urged PSE&G to pursue its New Jersey-based programs,” Goldenberg argued.

For Steven Goldeberg's entire brief, click here.