Maryland PSC Decides on Fate of Net Metering

In an October 26th meeting the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) noted it expects to publish a final net metering rule in November. The PSC asked staff to prepare a rule for publication that would have each utility develop monthly kWh compensation based on that month’s PJM energy zonal LMP value (typically 5-8 cents). The PSC noted it was well aware that this rule would have a detrimental impact on the size of solar installations and the economic value thereof but said the legislation was clear on the matter of monthly reconciliation.

The Commission developed the rule for publication using the Joint Utility Group’s (JUG) proposed rule but modified a provision that would have allowed utilities to require net metering customers to downsize their system if after any year it was producing more than 100% of the customer’s annual energy needs. Instead the Commission adopted the Joint Solar Advocates (JSA) position to test the system size only upon commissioning and allowing a system to be sized to produce 200% of historic energy usage.  If a solar or other qualifying system were to be upgraded, this test would again be imposed to commission the upgrade.

The Commission also adopted an aggregation component that would allow for a single agricultural, non-profit or municipal customer to aggregate meters in a physical or virtual capacity for net metering against a single qualified generation system. They debated how to define “customer” but seemingly decided on any customer that was a single person or corporate entity.  Presumably this allows a cooperative to be formed among farmers or non-profits to aggregate meters for the purposes of net metering against a central system.

You can find more background on this issue in a previous IREC post.

 

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