State Says SolarCity Wasn't Following Permit Process

Jun 30, 2017

Officials at Tesla are “working quickly” to respond after Vermont’s Public Service Board found that Tesla subsidiary SolarCity was installing solar generation projects in the state without proper approval, a company spokesman said Friday.

Public Service Board Chair Anthony Roisman sent a letter to SolarCity dated June 16 informing the company that it is required to get regulatory approval before installing solar generation equipment and attaching it to the state’s electrical grid.

“Over the past few months, my office has observed a pattern of procedural issues with net-metering applications being pursued by your company,” Roisman wrote. “Specifically, it appears that in many cases the required forms were not filed with the Board but instead were only filed with the interconnecting utility.”

Roisman’s letter pointed out that regulators must have accurate records of the generation capacity across the state’s electrical grid “to ensure that new net-metering systems do not adversely affect the operation of the grid.”

He added that installing new solar projects without approval “could result in significant financial penalties for you or your customers.”

In a prepared statement, Tesla spokesman Will Nicholas said the problem stemmed from confusion about the expectations for regulatory filings in Vermont. He said the company plans to use the Public Service Board’s online filing system and comply with Vermont's regulations.

Update 3:43 p.m. Tesla's full prepared statement follows:

“We are quickly responding to the request from the Vermont Public Service Board. Previously, we had electronically submitted our applications via email and now understand hard copies are also required. We look forward to continuing delivery of sustainable energy products to Vermont residents."