February 2011 Connecting to the Grid Newsletter



Note from the Editor

If you’re like me, you like cake. And if so, you’ve probably also shared my frustration when you show up to a party and a few guests have eaten all the cake, leaving only a few sad crumbs behind.  This issue of equality of access applies not only to dessert, but also to the renewable energy industry, and to net metering in particular. One of the merits of a well-designed net metering policy is that it is available to everyone. However, challenges can arise when the participation of a few net metering customers crowds out others who want a piece of the distributed generation action (cake?).

Over the past few years, we have seen a definite trend of states increasing or eliminating their system size caps for net metering. If these limits don’t also correspond to an increase in aggregate participation caps, it can mean that a few large projects can potentially consume a state’s net metering allocation.  Hawaii has taken proactive measures to mitigate this potential problem by allocating a percentage of the participation cap to smaller systems. Each utility has a slightly different allocation, but generally 40-50% of their aggregate caps are dedicated to systems sized 10 kW and smaller. [Continued in Newsletter]

State News in Detail

Northeast States           

      New York’s ConEdison customers double solar capacity

      Massachusetts DPU announces net metering eligibility hearing 

Mid-Atlantic States      

      D.C.’s Mount Pleasant Solar Co-op challenges Pepco’s handling of net metering 

Midwestern States       

      Indiana IURC reschedules net metering hearing

Southern States          

      Mississippi opens the door for net metering

      Unearthed in Florida: Meter Aggregation! Also, GRU FIT applicants selected

Western States                        

      California’s SCE expands community solar options for customers; continues work on state feed-in tariff 

      Idaho PUC limits the size of wind and solar projects

      Oregon PUC to discuss meter aggregation changes              

Other States                

      Alaska RCA invites comments on interconnection

      Hawaii sees unprecedented solar growth 


Upcoming Events         




     IREC’s round table round up


Miscellaneous News     


     DOE announces the release of two community solar guides

      FERC reviews mandatory QF purchases

      White House establishes renewables export initiative


Download the full newsletter as a PDF:  February 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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