On October 6, 2008 Governor Granholm signed SB 213 into law, creating a renewable portfolio standard whereby utilities will be required to obtain 10% of their energy from renewable sources by 2015. Senate Bill 213 also included a provision that will require utilities to allow net metering for residential or commercial customers operating renewable generation systems up to 20 kW. According to the bill these systems qualify for ‘true’ net metering, which applies the full retail rate to any net excess generation (NEG) produced by the customer-generator. Systems up to 150 kW (or up to 550 kW for methane digesters) will be eligible for a less financially agreeable arrangement under which they may be required to dual meter their systems and receive an avoided cost payment for NEG. This legislation applies to all rate-regulated electric utilities and alternative electric suppliers in the state and specifies that onsite generation must not exceed the customer’s electric need. According to this legislation, a utility will not be required to allow net metering for more than 1% of its in-state peak load for the preceding calendar year. The 1% limit is further allocated among different system size classes: 1) 0.5% for systems 20 kW or less, 2) 0.25% for systems larger than 20 kW but not more than 150 kW, and 3) 0.25% for systems larger than 150 kW.
Statewide uniform interconnection requirements for all eligible electric generators will also apply to net metered systems under this legislation. Systems must be certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory to IEEE 1547.1 testing standards and in compliance with UL 1741.