February 2012 Connecting to the Grid Newsletter



Note from the Editor

When I’m feeling especially creative, I like to cook without the assistance of recipes. Some meals turn out surprisingly tasty; others (especially my “innovative” baking endeavors) do not.  Solar policy development is like baking, you really should follow a recipe if you want it to turn out right.  The reason is simple: the ingredients needed to build a “clean energy economy” are so interdependent that they should be added in the right amounts and combinations. Ideally, they would all follow a predetermined best-practices approach, more or less, to maximize their effectiveness. 

Historically, states have had jurisdiction over distributed generation (DG) policies, because they generally have jurisdiction over their distribution lines.  Up until fairly recently, these state policies have been created on a somewhat piecemeal and sporadic basis, leading to 50 completely different sets of DG policies. Now that we’re in the midst of a renewable renaissance, you might say, it’s increasingly important that we collectively develop a more standardized approach to policy adoption, in order to foster equity and efficiency in the market. Non-hardware or “balance-of-system” costs, like those associated with inefficient administrative processes, make up about half the price on a solar installation.  So, streamlining these processes can really make an enormous difference for the expansion of the solar industry going forward. One recent report estimated that by streamlining interconnection, permitting and related costs, we could see a reduction of 44% or more in these non-hardware costs.

[Continued in Newsletter]


State News in Detail

Northeast States

Massachusetts DPU establishes DG working group

New York PSC solicits comments on sub-metering

Mid-Atlantic States        

PJM works on net metering and interconnection issues

Midwestern States        

Kansas town upgrades to net metering

Correction: Wisconsin has a calendar year true-up for net metering

Southern States           

Texas PUC begins work on third-party ownership and interconnection issues for distributed generation

Western States             

California PUC strikes down network use charge for net metering

Idaho PUC rules that it has primary jurisdiction over wind power transactions

Washington UTC shows intent to modify interconnection procedures

Other States                 

Alaska RCA seeks input on renewable tariff modifications


Upcoming Events


Miscellaneous News

DOE Energy Storage Hub announced

NREL builds grid connection laboratory



Download the full newsletter as a PDF: February 2012 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). Click here to subscribe.

Editor: Laurel Varnado


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