September 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 [email protected].

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


Note from the Editor – Zooming out for a broader perspective of net metering

For the last few months we have delved into some specific net metering issues such as Renewable Energy Credit (REC) ownership, third-party arrangements and net excess rollover.  While it is important to explore the finer points of such issues, it can also be useful to widen our scope and see how they’re currently addressed in the patchwork of state net metering policies. This month, I looked at some of the main issues surrounding net metering, tallied the number of states that fit into various categories and offer the following insights.  These graphics are based on data from the infinitely-useful Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency ( on the 42 state-wide net metering policies (plus the District of Columbia). Voluntary utility policies were not included.

For the first graph, I looked at the number of states that allowed various renewable technology types to net meter. All of the states included PV and wind systems, and most included hydro, biomass, solar thermal and fuel cells.   While some of the technologies on the lower end of the graph may not be viable for certain areas of the country, certainly they represent possible growth areas in the future.  We’ve seen that combined heat and power (CHP) is certainly on the rise in net metering policies; just this month New York authorized CHP as an eligible technology, following on the heels of several other states this year alone. [Continued in newsletter]

State News in Detail:

Northeast States

Connecticut IOU’s note intention to suspend insurance requirements for small generators

Massachusetts DPU adopts model NM/IC tariffs

New York includes legislation to allow fuel cells and Micro-CHP to net meter; PSC releases funds for RPS program

Rhode Island’s National Grid submits revised QF tariff for consideration

Mid-Atlantic States

D.C. neighborhood’s Solar Cooperative begins PV installations

Pennsylvania PUC gives utility the green light to purchase solar credits for AEPS compliance

Midwestern States

Michigan PSC requests comments on utility plans to utilize dispatchable, customer-owned DG

Southern States

Georgia PSC modifies terms of solar purchase tariff

Austin, Texas investigates a sharp increase in solar commitment

Western States

Arizona ACC continues examination of third-party regulation; ACC renewable energy ratemaking authority held up in court decision

California continues feed-in tariff discussion

Colorado PUC issues emergency rules that pertain to net metering; Xcel Energy requests that third-parties be eligible for SolarRewards Program incentives

Oregon PUC directed to establish pilot production incentives for solar energy producers

Utah PSC issues proposed new rules for interconnection

Miscellaneous News

Maine signs agreement with FERC to speed development of tidal energy resources

China launches differentiated wind energy tariffs

Research Shows Distributed Solar Energy Market to Reach $55 Billion by 2012

Solar Decathalon competition adds a net metering component in 2009

Conferences and Events


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