April 2011 Connecting to the Grid Newsletter



Note from the Editor

A doctor, a lawyer and an engineer walk into a bar…

Chances are pretty good that only the lawyer can correctly explain indemnification. It’s a good thing that renewable energy lawyers really understand it too, since indemnification provides an important consumer protection when it comes to grid interconnection.

In its purest form, indemnity is a means of shifting the ultimate responsibility for payment to the party who caused the injury. This means that if one party to a contract is sued, and not at fault, the other party must pay to defend the lawsuit and also (potentially) any settlement rendered against the other party. Not all states address this issue in their interconnection rules and some even allow the utility to require that customers must indemnify the utility but not vice versa (i.e., unilateral indemnification). Washington State’s interconnection procedures, for example, allow utilities to require unilateral indemnification for systems up to 300 kW that are ineligible for net metering. [Continued in Newsletter]

State News in Detail


Northeast States         

Massachusetts DOER seeks feedback from DG customers; DPU allows for revision of net metering straw proposals

New Hampshire PUC proposes rules to expand net metering 


Mid-Atlantic States       

D.C. PSC asking for feedback on readability of utility bills

Virginia increases residential net metering limit 


Midwestern States        

Minnesota sees a sharp rise in PV installations 


Southern States              


Knoxville, TN city government attempts alternative PV financing method

El Paso, TX municipal utility works with city to allow net metering


Western States                               

Tucson, AZ utility plans to lease school rooftop space for PV

Colorado’s Xcel Energy and solar industry reach an agreement on solar rebates

Idaho PUC denies request to reverse a wind and solar decision                 


Other States         

Hawaii study shows grid could incorporate 25% renewables


Upcoming Events     



Miscellaneous News      


NREL seeking new (solar) purpose for EV batteries

More wholesalers marketing solar products directly to consumers

South Africa clears a path for distributed generation

USDA survey shows an increase in farm-based renewables

Download the full newsletter as a PDF:   April 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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