May 2014 Connecting to the Grid Newsletter



Note from the Editor

Transmission: More than Meets the Eye
True or false: Transmission and transmission planning are only relevant to large, conventional electricity generators, and distributed renewables are only concerned with the distribution system, and never the twain shall meet.

For many decades, this statement was profoundly true. But nowadays, with evolving technologies, improved planning processes and an expanded emphasis on integrated systems, the two previously disparate elements of our energy system are beginning to intersect. Whether helping states meet their renewable portfolio standard obligations or providing tools for grid operators to improve market balance and efficiencies, distributed renewables are increasingly relevant to transmission planning discussions.

Distributed renewables are, after all, distributed. From small-scale systems, like rooftop PV or backyard wind turbines, to community-scale systems or large-scale renewables serving dedicated load centers, distributed renewables come into play across all levels of the distribution and transmission system. Taking into account the unique characteristics, benefits and contributions of distributed renewable energy systems on the entire system can help ensure a more holistic approach to long-term transmission planning. To this end, IREC has been active in many state, regional and federal transmission-related activities, helping inform transmission-related decision making by ensuring accurate assumptions and highlighting the beneficial role distributed renewables can play in the transmission arena.

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State News in Detail

Northeastern States
Gov. Cuomo Announces Comprehensive NY Sun Initiative to Expand Solar Development. Read more.

CMP and solar energy advocates clash over what’s the smartest grid for Maine. Read more.

Maine Value of Solar Bill Enacted. Read more.

Mid-Atlantic States 
PSE&G Wins Approval for Pared-Down $1.2B ‘Energy Strong’ Plan. Read more.

Midwestern States
Xcel Energy sets wind power record in MN. Read more.

Xcel releases RFP for 100 MW of solar in MN. Read more.

Southern States
Oklahoma Authorizes Net Metering Fee. Read more.

SC utility board says ‘yes’ to natural gas, ‘no’ to solar. Read more.

Western States  
CPUC Issues Decision in Interconnection Proceeding. Read more.

Oregon Tech First in the Nation to Power Entire Campus with Onsite Renewables. Read more.

Xcel, Solar Groups Agree On Colorado Incentives. Read more.

Other States 
New program encouraging solar energy installations to kick off with legislative funding. Read more.

HI PUC Order Action Plans to Achieve State’s Energy Goals. Read more.

Federal and Miscellaneous News

LBNL Report Analyzes Different Approaches to Capturing the Value of Tax Incentives. Read more.

LBNL Report Compares PV Costs and Deployment Drivers in Japanese, U.S. Residential and Commercial Markets. Read more.

President Obama Announces Commitments and Executive Actions to Advance Solar Deployment and Energy Efficiency. Read more.

View an archived version of the newsletter here:  May 2014 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. Editors: Chelsea Barnes and Rusty Haynes.


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