San Marcos (Texas) city council members may soon approve a net metering program to encourage the installation of private solar panels and wind turbines.
The council will give direction to city staff this week to work out implementation issues on an update to the city’s Land Development Code (LDC) that would specify the allowable height and location of wind-based power generators, eliminate current hurdles to installing rooftop solar arrays, and add more regulatory and enforcement predictability to the process of installing such devices. The ordinance is one step towards implementation of a program to allow private owners of wind and solar generators to sell surplus power back to the city and other sellers, such as Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC), and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative.
“Staff is going to recommend to council that we buy back that generation at the same rate that we would be purchasing it from the (Lower Colorado River Authority) that particular month,” said San Marcos Assistant Director of Public Services-Electric Utility Kyle Dicke to council members last month.
The city adds additional charges to its utility customers’ bills over and above rate that the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) charges the city for electricity.
If council members pass the ordinance, the renewable energy systems program may be off the ground in the spring to coincide with the expected implementation of net metering. Net metering, made possible by the smart meters recently installed citywide, will allow customers to view their electricity generation and consumption statistics in nearly real-time.
Source: San Marcos News