March 2011 Connecting to the Grid Newsletter



Note from the Editor

However geeky this may sound, I think it’s easy to liken the burgeoning policy movement known as Community Renewables to the opening of a Star Trek episode. And why not?  We’re attempting to explore strange new ideas, to seek out new life in the renewable energy world and boldly go where no policy has gone before.  There, I said it.

While I have extolled the benefits of community renewables policies in past articles, I would like to acknowledge one of the challenges for these policies going forward—billing individual customer accounts based on energy production from a shared system.  In other words, how does a utility or third party organization determine what a share of community solar actually amounts to each month?  Some state policies, such as Delaware, base community renewables credits on a customer’s kilowatt-hour rate, à la net metering style.  Many other state policies are either somewhat vague on this issue of crediting or they allow the community group to organize and distribute credits among members as they see fit.  From a billing perspective it may be easier to monetize the kilowatt-hours and provide bill credits on a customer’s bill, depending on the structure of the policy or program and the utility’s billing software.  This is especially true when customers on different rate classes are participating in a shared system and receiving kWh bill credits for generation from the same solar facility.  If the resulting energy is being assigned to customers on different rate classes it would essentially be given two different values (i.e. a residential customer receives a different kWh value than a commercial customer). [Continued in Newsletter]

State News in Detail

Northeast States           

Massachusetts DPU holds net metering conference

New York PSC investigating net metering crediting procedures 


Mid-Atlantic States      

Delaware schedules net metering workshop

Maryland PSC issues proposed rules for net metering changes 


Midwestern States       

Michigan PSC seeks comments on net metering, interconnection

Ohio PUC denies Duke Energy proposal for market-based generation rates


Southern States          

North Carolina NCUC releases REPS registration application 


Western States                        

Colorado PUC asks Xcel, solar industry to agree on rebates; DMEA establishes community solar array   

Montana PSC advises FERC that renewables should pay for capacity                  


Other States                

Kauai, HI experimenting with high-penetration PV


Upcoming Events         


Miscellaneous News     

Federal Trade Commission proposes rules for green power marketing, RECS

FERC improves compensation for frequency regulation

Solar industry sees record growth, according to SEIA report


Download the full newsletter as a PDF:  March 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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