January 2011 Connecting to the Grid Newsletter


Note from the Editor

Gold Star Winners from 2010

While 2010 was not without notable progress on net metering and interconnection policies, there was a discernible slowdown in state-level activities as compared to previous years. I have an idea why this might have been the case.  EPACT 05 requirements caused a flurry of activity from 2007 to 2009 as many states were required to revisit their interconnection and net metering procedures. As those proceedings wrapped up, this largely proved to be a year of modest policy tweaking for most states, with a few striking exceptions. Before we really jump into 2011, I thought I might look back on some of the most significant state accomplishments and trends from 2010.

More States Join the Honor Roll – Several gold stars need to be awarded to a few states that showed really big improvements in their net metering and interconnection policies this year.

Maine went from having no statewide interconnection procedures to a solid A in Freeing the Grid, one of only four states to achieve an A grade so far.   The state public utilities commission used IREC’s model interconnection procedures as the basis for their rules.  These rules contain four levels of review for applications, reasonable fees, no insurance requirements for small, inverter-based systems and no external disconnect switch requirement for certified equipment. [Continued in Newsletter]

State News in Detail

Northeast States             

      Massachusetts finalizes solar carve-out rules 


Mid-Atlantic States      

      West Virginia tweaks net metering, interconnection rules 


Midwestern States       

      Indiana IURC seeks to expand net metering to 1 MW


Southern States

       North Carolina-based Progress and Duke Energy to merge


Western States                        

      Arizona expects big increase in distributed and utility-scale solar

      California ISO to merge small and large generator interconnection procedures

      CPUC approves reverse auction mechanism for small renewable projects

      Colorado PUC scales back smart grid pilot project                


Other States                

      Hawaii’s feed-in tariff fails to generate much interest, so far

IREC News                

IREC releases comprehensive report on net metering in retail choice states 

Upcoming Events          


Miscellaneous News  

President Obama signs renewable energy tax extensions

A new metric for solar development

NREL reports continued decline in solar prices 


Download the full newsletter as a PDF:  January 2011 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


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