West Virginia PSC’s Proposed Rules for NM/IC, a Mixed Review

On February 2, the West Virginia Public Service Commission issued proposed modifications to the state’s net metering and interconnection rules under WV PSC General Order 258. These changes are pursuant to WV House Bill 103, and House Bill 408 in 2009. Highlights of the proposal include:

  • An increase in the aggregate participation limit from 0.1% of utility’s total load to 1% of the utility aggregate customer peak demand
  • Net excess generation during a billing period carries over at the full retail rate for up to 12 months and excess kWhs at the end of the annual period are reconciled at the utility’s avoided cost rate
  • System size limits are 25kW for residential, 500kW for commercial and 2MW for industrial customers
  • Customer owns RECs associated with generation
  • Virtual meter aggregation is allowed for meters within two miles of properties owned or leased by a customer within two miles of the customer’s property. For these arrangements, excess credits will be applied first to the meter through which the facility supplies electricity to the distribution system, then prorated equally to the remaining meters on the account

There are also several red flags associated with this proposal, which are not in keeping with many other state rules or what IREC considers best practices:

  • Customer must pay for construction or upgrades to the electric utility system, should they be required in order to interconnect the facility, which could be cost-prohibitive
  • Net metering is allowed for not only renewable resources but “alternative” sources including waste coal, natural gas, tire-derived fuel and other non-renewable sources
  • All systems are required to have a redundant utility external disconnect switch
  • Customers must maintain at least $100,000 of liability insurance or such amount of coverage reasonably deemed necessary by the utility to protect its plant and other customers
  • Rules are vague regarding interconnection fees, terms and charges

Comments on this proposal must be filed with the PSC by April 5, 2010.

 

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