May 2012 Connecting to the Grid Newsletter



Note from the Editor

Planning the Solar Highway

The transmission grid is often described as the interstate highway system of our nation’s energy supply.  It moves a lot of electricity over long distances. If you were to continue along with that metaphor, you might say that distributed generation (DG) is the newcomer to the transmission system, somewhat like the ever-increasing number of hybrid vehicles traveling on the highway system.

While around10% of our nation’s power supply currently flows from renewable energy resources, most of that comes from hydroelectric plants.  When we imagine the grid in 2020 or 2030, the picture looks much different.  Many analysts think it possible for the U.S. to achieve 25% or more renewable energy by 2025, and the SunShot initiative seeks to spur solar growth alone to 15-18% by 2030.  We’re already starting to see distributed generation facilities reach larger proportions as state policies evolve to encourage larger installations.

[Continued in Newsletter]


State News in Detail

Northeast States

Connecticut’s PURA finalizes ZREC and LREC program

Maine PUC launches voluntary green power initiative

Massachusetts DPU adopts system of assurance for net metering facilities


Mid-Atlantic States      

Virginia University projects positive outlook for renewable potential


Midwestern States       

Iowa Utilities Board declines to allow power purchase agreement


Southern States           

North Carolina utility expects growth    for net metering production incentive


Western States             

California Public Utility Commission approves expanded virtual net metering; L.A. City Council approves Feed-in Tariff

Idaho solar debate highlights potential complexities of transmission-level interconnection


Other States               

Study finds Hawaii Solar tax credits a net positive for the state


Upcoming Events


Miscellaneous News

DOE Announces new Plug and Play initiative

SEPA Announces Top 10 Solar Utilities For 2011


Download the full newsletter as a PDF: May 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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