WHAT’S NEW AS OF OCTOBER 2011?
Note from the Editor
Microgrids: Social networking for renewables?
What do the recent San Diego power outage; hurricanes, tornados and earthquakes; and the ever-increasing congestion on the transmission grid, all have in common? For me, they all make a pretty compelling case for policymakers to encourage the development of microgrids. While microgrids (also known as µGrids, community grids, milligrids or nanogrids, depending on their size and structure) aren’t a new concept by any stretch, they’ve definitely been gaining in relevance of late.
They’ve also been gaining ground in their capabilities, much as a result of smart grid technologies. I’ve heard them referred to as peer-to-peer power networks (hence the title of this article) because they have the ability to share a variety distributed resources across a network of high-use buildings (such as hospitals, office and industrial complexes and data centers). The buildings in a microgrid remain connected to the (macro) utility grid but, by generating their own power, they reduce reliance on the macro grid and can even send back surplus power through net metering or another type of arrangement. (Aside: Pennsylvania includes a higher system size cap for microgrids in its net metering policy, allowing those up to 5 MW to net meter, while non-microgrid systems may net meter systems up to 3 MW.)
State News in Detail
Connecticut PURA works on virtual net metering
Massachusetts DPU opens investigation of interconnection issues
New Hampshire PUC issues final net metering rules
New York legislature expands list of net metering technologies
Virginia SCC to hold hearing on stand-by charges for net metering customers
Illinois’ ICC works on Plug-in Vehicle adoption issues
Michigan’s Consumers Energy reduces its Renewable Surcharge
Texas net metering and interconnection bill becomes effective for El Paso Electric; Austin Energy goes renewable
California makes it easier for farmers to net meter; continues to work on interconnection Rule 21
Washington UTC recommends net metering improvements to state legislature
IREC Annual Meeting
Solar Power International 2011
CHP and Microgrids Webinar
Minnesota Division of Energy Resources Net Metering Workshop
Texas Renewables 2011 Conference
IREC has a new standard for energy efficiency and renewable energy certificate programs!
LBNL releases Mass Market Demand Response and Variable Generation Integration Issues Report
Jamaica adopts net metering rules
US Military aggressively investing in clean technology
Download the full newsletter as a PDF: October 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