WHAT’S NEW AS OF OCTOBER 2010?
Note from the Editor
After three decades, PURPA still plays a role
Since it’s October and Halloween’s coming up, I thought I would venture into one of the scariest topics out there in the renewable energy world – federal energy regulations. They are, in a word, complex. If they were simple, we probably wouldn’t receive so many questions about the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) or the Small Generator Interconnection Procedures (SGIP) issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The acronyms alone are enough to scare most people away. This month we’ll take look at how PURPA applies to utilities and next month we’ll follow up with a look at the FERC SGIP and its applicability to different types of renewable energy projects.
First, a brief version of events. As we know, in 1978 Congress enacted PURPA to encourage the deployment of more efficient and renewable energy systems. The law applied to cogeneration facilities and small power production facilities of 80 megawatts or less which use biomass, waste, or renewable resources, including wind, solar energy and water, to produce electric power. FERC then followed up with regulations that required utilities to purchase power from these Qualified Facilities (QFs) at the avoided cost of generation, defined as the incremental energy and capacity cost the utility would have incurred to produce that same energy through conventional fuel sources. It produced the desired result. In the 1980s over 20,000 MW of installed QF capacity were deployed. [Continued in Newsletter]
State News in Detail
New York grid could accommodate more wind energy
Vermont non-profit organizes community solar groups
Delaware PSC issues proposed rules for net metering changes, community solar and meter aggregation
New Jersey hits solar milestone
Pennsylvania finalizes solar policy statement
Illinois and Michigan working on plug-in electric vehicle policies
Georgia Power approved to purchase more solar energy from customers
Brenham, Texas adopts interconnection and net metering for systems up to 10 MW
California enacts groundbreaking energy storage legislation
Oregon reduces pilot solar FIT rates
Idaho PUC issues first solar PURPA contract
Hawaii adopts decoupling policy to help spur renewables and efficiency
IREC’s Annual Meeting Agenda Finalized – We’ll see you there!
Military deploys solar and renewables for combat operations
California issues regulations for a 33% Renewable Energy Standard
White House unveils plans to go solar
Download the full newsletter as a PDF: OCTOBER 2010 Connecting to the Grid Newsletter
While customer-sited net metering and interconnection policies are primarily addressed at the state level, they are also becoming important on a regional basis. This newsletter has been designed to provide state-level policy updates and capture emerging regional trends. Connecting to the Grid is a free, electronic newsletter published each month by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) and the North Carolina Solar Center at North Carolina State University. Click here to subscribe.
Editor: Laurel Varnado
NC Solar Center, NC State University