WHAT’S NEW AS OF FEBRUARY 2013?
Note from the Editor
The FERC SGIP: Time for a tune up
The average size of distributed photovoltaic systems is on the rise. In fact, the average size of all PV systems installed in 2011 grew by 64% over 2010. In addition to larger system sizes, penetration of solar on the grid is increasing in many states. In Hawaii, for example, 20 percent of the distribution circuits are already above 15 percent of peak load, a common benchmark for high penetration. These trends, coupled with the growing interest and declining costs in distributed generation (DG), are causing utilities across the nation to propose lengthy studies to determine the potential grid impact of increased DG capacity.
Last month, however, we heard an important announcement that could smooth the path of further DG development, enabling larger and greater numbers of DG systems to connect to the grid in a more expeditious manner. On January 17, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a proposed rule that contains a number of important changes to its Small Generator Interconnection Procedures (SGIP). In the proposed rules, FERC notes that the proposed reforms are “intended to ensure that the time and cost to process small generator interconnect requests will be just and reasonable and not unduly discriminatory.” This is welcome news for the renewable energy community, especially considering that FERC’s original intent was to re-evaluate the rules two years after they were first published and six years have now past since FERC has had an opportunity to consider possible modifications.
State News in Detail
Massachusetts launches net metering system of assurance
Vermont finds net metering to be a net benefit to ratepayers
New Jersey solar market stabilizes in early 2013
Michigan officials begin to consider updates to renewable energy policies
North Carolina utility petitions to cut solar rebate
New ERCOT report shows wind and solar to be competitive with natural gas in Texas
California PUC requires 50MW of energy storage for local capacity requirements
Idaho Power seeks major cuts to net metering program
Washington UTC seeks comments on interconnection
Hawaiian utilities begin innovative proactive distribution planning approach
Midwest grid operator expanding south, to ‘last frontier’ for renewables
Download the full newsletter as a PDF: February 2013 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 Passera