February 2013 Connecting to the Grid Newsletter



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.

[Continued in Newsletter]


State News in Detail

Northeast States          

Massachusetts launches net metering system of assurance

Vermont finds net metering to be a net benefit to ratepayers

Mid-Atlantic States    

New Jersey solar market stabilizes in early 2013

Midwestern States     

Michigan officials begin to consider updates to renewable energy policies

Southern States        

North Carolina utility petitions to cut solar rebate

New ERCOT report shows wind and solar to be competitive with natural gas in Texas

Western States          

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

Other States               

Hawaiian utilities begin innovative proactive distribution planning approach


Upcoming Events


Miscellaneous News

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


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