August 2009 IREC “Connecting to the Grid” Newsletter

Editor:  Laurel Varnado

NC Solar Center, NC State University


The Connecting to the Grid newsletter is published electronically every month by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) and the North Carolina Solar Center at North Carolina State University.  This is a free publication.  Click here to subscribe.


While customer-sited net metering and interconnection are primarily state issues, they are also becoming important on a regional basis.    This newsletter has been designed to capture any subtle, emerging regional trends.  The state news is presented in geographic categories, primarily because the standard NERC and/or RTO/ISO regions do not always align with state boundaries. Please direct comments and questions about the newsletter to Laurel Varnado at

Note:  Scroll to the bottom of this page to download complete newsletter.

WHAT’S NEW AS OF August 2009?

Note from the Editor – How Does FERC Influence State Policy?

Certainly changes in Federal policy (like PURPA and EPAct 2005) directly impact states’ abilities to enact, adopt or modify net metering and interconnection policies.  There are a number of other direct and indirect mechanisms through which the federal government can influence state policies though, without the need for legislative authority. What are some of these methods and how do they work given the divide between state and federal jurisdiction over net metering and interconnection matters?

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is one of the more significant voices states hear when setting energy policies.  FERC, an independent U.S. government agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil, has three overarching goals: 1) Promote the Development of a Strong Energy Infrastructure, 2) Support Competitive Markets, and 3) Prevent Market Manipulation in the energy industries.  The Federal Power Act, Section 824 (b), gives FERC jurisdiction in cases of wholesale or interstate commerce power transactions, though it has generally been interpreted to mean that FERC has jurisdiction when a system is interconnected to transmission lines that are capable of transmitting power across state lines. If the transaction is retail or solely intrastate in nature, it is within state jurisdiction.  Given this divide, what different hats can FERC wear to influence state policy? [Continued in Newsletter]

State News in Detail:

Northeast States

Maine legislature increases RPS credit for community-owned systems

Massachusetts DPU holds technical hearing on net metering and interconnection model tariffs

New Hampshire PUC formally adopts net metering rule

New York’s ConEd to deploy AMI pilot in NYC

Rhode Island Governor signs legislation that broadens scope of net metering

Vermont PSB continues work on Feed-in Tariff rulemaking

Mid-Atlantic States

New Jersey approves SREC purchases

Midwestern States

Illinois ICC extends deadline for large generator interconnection docket finalization

Kansas KCC begins net metering investigation, issues order on EISA 2007 smart grid consideration

Michigan’s Consumers Energy begins experimental feed-in tariff

Minnesota PUC invites comments on wind turbine setbacks

South Dakota PUC is accepting comments on Interconnection, via the Small Renewable Energy Initiative

Wisconsin PSC continues discussion of Advanced Renewable Tariff

Southern States

Florida’s LCEC cooperative offers net metering for systems up to one MW

Georgia PSC approves expansion of Georgia Power’s solar purchase program for customers

South Carolina PSC approves net metering settlement

Western States

Colorado PUC files supplemental NOPR for interconnection docket

Nevada PUC opens several renewables dockets

New Mexico Governor lobbies against PPA regulation

Oregon Governor vetoes renewable energy bills

Other States

Hawaii allows preferential rates for agriculturally produced power

Miscellaneous News

Feed-in Tariff planned for UK?

Xcel Proposes then withdraws net metering charge

DOE announces nearly $12M for solar grid integration development

Conferences and Events


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