THE GRID - PDF - PDF by pengxiang


									    CONNECTING TO

            THE GRID
                                                                                     DECEMBER 2010
  WHAT’S INSIDE — December 2010                                                      Vol. 13, No. 12

Note from the Editor                                                                 Editor: Laurel Varnado
                                               annual net metering reconciliation    NC Solar Center, NC State University
   In Search of the Solar-Powered              rate
   Commute                                     Colorado’s Xcel Energy seeks to
                                               delay additional renewable bids
State News in Detail
                                               Idaho PUC revisits PURPA cap and
Northeast States         (page 3)              rate for renewable projects
   New York PSC allows behind-the-             New Mexico PRC net metering vote
   meter renewables to count for RPS           dies quietly
Mid-Atlantic States       (page 3)
                                            Other States             (page 6)
   D.C.’s utility questioned about net
   metering, interconnection and smart         Hawaii now accepting FIT applica-
   meter problems                              tions
   Danville, Virginia to offer net meter-   IREC News                (page 7)
   ing up to 200% of onsite use
                                               2010 Freeing the Grid is here!
Midwestern States         (page 4)
                                               IREC releases Model Rules for Com-
                                                                                     ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER
   Michigan PSC approves PEV charg-            munity Renewables
   ing rate                                                                          While customer-sited net metering
                                            Upcoming Events          (page 8)        and interconnection policies are
Southern States           (page 4)                                                   primarily addressed at the state level,
                                            Miscellaneous News        (page 9)       they are also becoming important on
   North Carolina utility rolls out PV                                               a regional basis. This newsletter has
   incentive for net metered systems           FERC proposes renewable intercon-     been designed to provide state-level
                                               nection reform                        policy updates and capture emerging
   San Marcos, Texas to vote on net                                                  regional trends. Connecting to the
   metering                                    New EPA rules may make solar more
                                               competitive                           Grid is a free, electronic newsletter
                                                                                     published each month by the Interstate
Western States            (page 5)
                                               Report shows distributed generation   Renewable Energy Council (IREC)
   Riverside, California utility proposes      market to triple by 2015              and the North Carolina Solar Center at
                                                                                     North Carolina State University. Click
                                                                                     here to subscribe.

                                                                                     Please direct comments and questions
                                                                                     about the newsletter to Laurel
                                                                                     Varnado     at

                                                                                      Connecting to the Grid/December 2010

                                             IN SEARCH OF THE SOLAR-
                                             POWERED COMMUTE

                                Just in time for the holidays, many automakers are beginning to roll out Plug-in Electric Vehicles
                                (PEVs) to showroom floors across the country. The much-anticipated market for PEVs has sig-
                                nificant implications for utilities and regulatory commissions as they explore how to best accom-
                                modate PEVs through incentives, regulatory frameworks, and infrastructure updates.
                                The Electric Power Research Institute estimates that at least 80% of PEV owners will charge
                                their car at home. We’ve already seen a variety of utility tariffs that allow for PEV charging, some
                                that allow for a bundled rate option and others that require separate meters for home use and
                                vehicle charging. For example, each IOU in California already offers a residential PEV Time-of-
                                Use tariff (see Southern California Edison’s PEV website for an example) and many other state
                                commissions are starting to ask utilities for their plans to accommodate PEVs. Some states
                                are also starting to look at the added layer of complexity that comes along when net metering
                                customers want to charge their vehicles from a solar or wind generation system located onsite.
                                In January, for example, Delaware adopted rules to incorporate PEVs into the state’s net meter-
                                ing rule, as a result of a legislative mandate.
                                To encourage adoption of PEVs, states can allow for increased customer choice and flexibility
                                related to PEV metering options. The following are a few simple and economical ways state
                                and local governments can facilitate PEV adoption:
                                    •   Existing utility net metering tariffs can be modified to allow customers with a separately
                                metered or sub-metered PEV load to apply net metering credits generated by their renewable
                                energy system. States can allow for a meter aggregation or virtual net metering policy, to al-
                                low a customer with multiple meters to combine them on one bill and designate the rank order
                                 of meters to which net-metering credits can be applied. States such as Oregon, Washington,
                                 Delaware and West Virginia already allow this.
                                    •    According to a recent PEV Readiness Study, cities can streamline permitting and in-
                                 spection guidelines for Level 2, 220 Volt residential charging stations. Some cities have already
                                 designated charging stations with a “minor label” (comparable to a washing machine) or allowed
                                 inspections to occur within 30 days of installation instead of requiring them prior to customer
“The much-anticipated
market for PEVs has                 •    That same report lists several other low-cost incentives such as allowing PEVs to use
significant implications         High-Occupancy Vehicle lanes, providing a discount on vehicle registration or allowing for pre-
for utilities and regula-        ferred parking.
tory commissions as              Researchers foretell a game-changing, but overall environmentally beneficial story for PEVs.
they explore how to best         The California Public Utilities Commission published an in-depth study on the utility issues
accommodate        PEVs          relating to PEV integration that showed PEVs have the ability to increase transmission and
through incentives, reg-         distribution demands and daily load capacity requirements in addition to altering peak load
ulatory frameworks, and          shapes. However, the report also noted that while utilities’ carbon emissions may increase
infrastructure updates.”         due to additional generation, central generation plants demonstrate better efficiency levels than
                                 conventional internal combustion engines in cars so we would see a net reduction in overall
                                 emissions. It also follows that PEVs have the ability to help utilities make better use of off-peak
                                 renewable sources like wind energy if PEV owners charge their batteries at night when wind
                                 production peaks.
                                 By figuring out the groundwork now, policy makers can ensure faster and smoother adoption of
                                 PEVs. We’ll continue to keep an eye on this issue and particularly what it means for net meter-
                                 ing customers.
                                                                                                                     Laurel Varnado

Note from the Editor / Page 2                                                              Connecting to the Grid/December 2010
                                          service after January 1, 2003. In addi-   MID-ATLANTIC
STATE                                     tion, the Commission decided to allow     STATES
                                          clean wood, separated from construc-
NEWS                                      tion and demolition debris at approved    DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
                                          material reclamation facilities, to be    On October 27, 2010, the Council of
                                          eligible for use as a biomass resource    the District of Columbia held a pub-
                                          fuel in the RPS program.                  lic hearing on the deployment of ad-
                                                                                    vanced metering Infrastructure in the
                                          Lastly, the Commission expanded its       District of Columbia. During the hear-
                                          RPS rules regarding the eligibility of    ing, the Mount Pleasant Solar Coop-
                                          certain behind-the-meter energy trans-    erative alleged that some net meters
NORTHEAST                                 actions for RPS program incentives. A     installed in customers’ homes were
                                          behind-the-meter transaction is one       incorrectly recording the amount of
STATES                                    where the energy is supplied directly     energy produced on the premises in
                                          to the consumer and is consumed on        relation to the energy used by those
                                          the consumer’s premises without ever      customers from the grid. Pepco did
NEW YORK                                  passing through a utility or a public
On November 18, the New York State                                                  not respond to these allegations at the
                                          authority transmission or distribu-       hearing so the Commission inquired
Public Service Commission took sev-       tion system. Prior to this PSC action,
eral actions to strengthen, expand                                                  further.
                                          behind-the-meter energy consump-
and enhance its Renewable Portfolio       tion did not qualify for Main Tier RPS
Standard (RPS). This action modifies                                                During the informal inquiry, Pepco
                                          program benefits primarily because        conceded that some problems are not
the procurement process and eligibil-     of the lack of independent, verifiable
ity requirements to reduce regulatory                                               simply isolated instances. In order to
                                          or automated mechanism to measure         ensure that Pepco’s implementation of
risk and complexity for developers. It    the energy transaction. The Commis-
will also enable more projects to par-                                              net metering is both expeditious and
                                          sion has expanded its RPS rules to        prudent, the Commission scheduled
ticipate in the program. In December,     include behind-the-meter transactions
2009, the PSC expanded the RPS                                                      a status conference for December 6,
                                          in RPS, so long as the measurement        2010, to ascertain the full nature and
goal to increase the proportion of re-    and verification of the in-state energy
newable electricity used by New York-                                               extent of the problems Pepco is ex-
                                          consumption is performed in a manner      periencing as well as Pepco’s plan for
ers from 25 percent to 30 percent by      that satisfies NYSERDA’s reporting
2015.                                                                               correcting them.

The PSC specifically authorized the                                                 Pepco was asked to come to the con-
                                          The Commission’s decision concern-        ference prepared to identify, among
New York State Energy Research and        ing modifications to certain aspects
Development Authority (NYSERDA)                                                     other things: (1) the current number of
                                          of the Main Tier solicitation process     net metering customers broken down
to conduct future solicitations for RPS   (Case 03-E-0188), and expansion of
Main Tier resources once a year at a                                                by rate class; (2) the number of cur-
                                          the rules concerning resource eligibil-   rent interconnection agreements by
minimum, after consultation with and      ity (Cases 09-E-0843 and 10-E-0195)
approval from staff of the Department                                               rate class; (3) the type of meter being
                                          under the RPS program, when avail-        used for net metering; (4) the number
of Public Service. Previously, a Com-     able, can be obtained by going to the
mission order was required before                                                   of net metering customers whose net
                                          Documents Section of the Commis-          meters are reporting incorrectly; (5)
NYSERDA could begin such a solicita-      sion’s Web site
tion. The PSC also eliminated a provi-                                              the number of net metering custom-
                                          and entering the appropriate case         ers who have received incorrect bills;
sion from the solicitation process that   number(s) in the input box labeled
had prevented NYSERDA from con-                                                     (6) Pepco’s preliminary or final deter-
                                          “Search for Case/Matter Number.”          minations regarding the causes of the
sidering the economic development
benefits of existing New York-based                                                 problems; (7) Pepco’s efforts to rectify
                                          Source: NY PSC Press Release              the problem so that net meters func-
renewable projects not already part
of the RPS program that were put into                                               tion properly going forward; and (8)

State News in Detail / Page 3                                                              Connecting to the Grid/December 2010
STATE NEWS IN DETAIL                                 CONTINUED

 Pepco’s plan to make whole those            Anyone who generates more than              SOUTHERN
 customers whose meters incorrectly          twice what their home uses would            STATES
 recorded generation and usage infor-        have to have a power purchase agree-
 mation.                                     ment with the utility instead of the sim-
                                             pler net metering plan. For instance,       NORTH CAROLINA
 In a related matter, Pepco began full       if a customer normally uses 1,000           Progress Energy Carolinas is launch-
 deployment of smart meters on Oc-           kilowatt-hours of power a month (or         ing a new “experimental” solar rebate
 tober 4, 2010. Ultimately, all current      12,000 kilowatt-hours per year), that       program to encourage residential
 and future net metering customers will      residential customer would be able          customers to install their own rooftop
 have the new smart meter. Pepco was         to sell an additional 12,000 kilowatt-      solar panels. The company has been
 also asked to prepare the following in-     hours per year back to the utility. Larg-   given permission by the state’s Utili-
 formation for the : (1) plan for replac-    er transactions will require the power      ties Commission to provide upfront
 ing customers’ current net meters and       purchase agreement.                         rebates of $1,000 for each kilowatt of
 providing them with new smart meters,                                                   generating capacity installed.
 which are capable of net metering; (2)      Source: Go Dan River News
 the extent to which the customers’                                                      Customers will also be offered month-
 ability to net meter will be disrupted                                                  ly credits of $4.50 per kilowatt for
 during the installation and program-                                                    photovoltaic systems installed once
 ming of the new smart meter; (3) how                                                    the SunSense Solar PV program is
 it plans to continue properly account-      MIDWESTERN                                  launched on January 1, 2011. The
 ing for the customers’ electricity us-      STATES                                      monthly payment will allow the power
 age/generation throughout the billing                                                   company to claim the renewable en-
 period in the event that there is some                                                  ergy credits generated by the PV pan-
 delay between installation and pro-         MICHIGAN                                    els, Progress confirmed.
 gramming of the new meter; and (4)
 the feasibility of providing all new in-    On December 2, the Michigan Pub-
                                                                                         The program will be restricted to so-
 terconnection customers who are eli-        lic Service Commission (MPSC) ap-
                                                                                         lar installations between two kilowatts
 gible to participate in net metering with   proved an experimental revised resi-
                                                                                         and 10kW in output (AC), owned by
 the new smart meter programmed for          dential off-peak energy storage/plug-in
                                                                                         residential customers. It will allow for
 net metering.                               electric vehicle (PEV) tariff for Indiana
                                                                                         a net metering process, where excess
                                             Michigan Power Company, making
                                                                                         electricity is fed into the grid.
 Pepco was directed to bring witnesses       it the third electric utility in Michigan
 who can address not only issues con-        to offer special rates for charging an
                                                                                         Progress said it would provide in-
 cerning net metering but also ques-         electric vehicle.
                                                                                         centives to cover a maximum of one
 tions regarding interconnection.                                                        megawatt (1,000 kilowatts) of capacity
                                             Under the tariff, the utility will offer
                                                                                         each year, meaning it will cover up to
 Source: Order from D.C. PSC Formal          residential customers an optional
                                                                                         500 installations, with a final deadline
 Case 945                                    provision for PEV charging stations
                                                                                         of December 31, 2015.
                                             programmed to consume electric en-
                                             ergy primarily during off-peak hours
                                                                                         The SunSense program forms part
 VIRGINIA                                    (any time other than 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
                                                                                         of Progress Energy’s efforts to meet
 The Danville Utility Commission vot-        weekdays). It will also offer an option
                                                                                         North Carolina’s renewable energy
 ed on November 22 to approve a net          to reimburse up to 250 customers up
                                                                                         targets, which include the require-
 metering plan for local utility custom-     to $2,500 toward the purchase of ap-
                                                                                         ment for electric utilities to provide
 ers with renewable energy generation        proved PEV supply equipment.
                                                                                         3% of their electricity supplies from
 sources. Smart Meters, now installed                                                    renewable resources in 2012, rising to
 in most of Danville Utilities’ delivery     See Case No. U-16496 for more infor-
                                                                                         12.5% in 2021.
 area, are capable of measuring elec-        mation.
 tricity being fed back into the power                                                   Source: Brighter Energy
 grid.                                       Source: MI PSC Press Release

 State News in Detail / Page 4                                                                  Connecting to the Grid/December 2010
STATE NEWS IN DETAIL                                 CONTINUED

                                             generation and consumption statistics       recommended approving the line.
 TEXAS                                       in nearly real-time.
 San Marcos (Texas) city council mem-                                                    Xcel told the PUC last month that when
 bers may soon approve a net metering        Source: San Marcos News                     it sought bids for wind and solar proj-
 program to encourage the installation                                                   ects in 2009, it thought the power line
 of private solar panels and wind tur-                                                   would be complete in 2013. It now ex-
 bines.                                                                                  pects completion in 2015.
 The council will give direction to city     STATES                                      Because of the delay, Xcel said, it
 staff this week to work out implementa-                                                 wants to push back some acquisitions
 tion issues on an update to the city’s      CALIFORNIA                                  of solar power and also seek new bids
 Land Development Code (LDC) that            The Riverside, California public utility    on 200 megawatts of wind power be-
 would specify the allowable height          recently proposed a net-metering an-        cause costs have fallen since 2009.
 and location of wind-based power            nual reconciliation rate of 5.8 cents per
 generators, eliminate current hurdles       kilowatt-hour to the city council. The      The Colorado Public Utilities Commis-
 to installing rooftop solar arrays, and     net-metering rate applies to utility cus-   sion hasn’t taken up the recommenda-
 add more regulatory and enforcement         tomers with a photovoltaic, wind or oth-    tion yet.
 predictability to the process of install-   er or other renewable energy system.
 ing such devices. The ordinance is                                                      Source: Washington Post
 one step toward the implementation of       Previously, net producers were able
 a program to allow private owners of        to carry any net excess generation
 wind and solar generators to sell sur-      over for a 12 month period and apply
 plus power back to the city and other       excess generation toward future bills.
 sellers, such as Pedernales Electric        At the end of the period, any net ex-       IDAHO
 Cooperative (PEC), and Bluebonnet           cess generation was gifted to the utility   Idaho’s three major investor-owned
 Electric Cooperative.                       without compensation. But, due to the       utilities are petitioning the Idaho Pub-
                                             passage of AB 920 the utility is now re-    lic Utilities Commission to investigate
 “Staff is going to recommend to council     quired to true up with customers after a    a number of issues related to small-
 that we buy back that generation at the     12 month period.                            power projects that qualify for a rate
 same rate that we would be purchas-                                                     published by the commission. The utili-
 ing it from the (Lower Colorado River       The utility will begin reimbursing cus-     ties are also asking that the eligibility
 Authority) that particular month,” said     tomers in January, 2011. At its onset,      cap on the size of projects that qualify
 San Marcos Assistant Director of Pub-       the utility projects it will pay $6,600     for the posted rate be reduced from 10
 lic Services-Electric Utility Kyle Dicke    annually to its net-metering custom-        megawatts to 100 kilowatts while the
 to council members last month.              ers. The utility foresees that 31 out of    investigation is under way.
                                             its 200 net-metering customers will re-
 The city adds additional charges to its     ceive payouts for their excess genera-      There is a precedent for such a reduc-
 utility customers’ bills over and above     tion in 2011.                               tion. The PUC approved the same drop
 rate that the Lower Colorado River                                                      to 100 kilowatts in 2005, when the utili-
 Authority (LCRA) charges the city for       Source: Clean Energy Authority              ties disputed the cost of integrating in-
 electricity.                                                                            termittent resources such as wind. The
                                                                                         reduction remained in place for close
 If council members pass the ordi-                                                       to three years.
 nance, the renewable energy systems         COLORADO
 program may be off the ground in the        Xcel Energy Inc. says disputes over         The commission set December 17 as
 spring to coincide with the expected        a proposed power line that would dis-       the deadline for parties who want to
 implementation of net metering. Net         tribute renewable energy from the San       intervene in the case, is taking pub-
 metering, made possible by the smart        Luis Valley are delaying its plans to       lic comments through Dec. 22 and is
 meters recently installed citywide, will    add more solar power, even though an        hearing oral arguments on Jan. 27.
 allow customers to view their electricity   administrative law judge has already        Several parties, representing primarily

 State News in Detail / Page 5                                                                   Connecting to the Grid/December 2010
STATE NEWS IN DETAIL                                   CONTINUED

 wind developers, have already filed pe-      expansion of these projects is causing            NEW MEXICO
 titions to intervene.                        a strain on utility transmission systems,         Last month we reported that the New
                                              the utilities claim.                              Mexico PRC was scheduled to vote
 The three utilities – Idaho Power Com-                                                         on adopting proposed rules to insti-
 pany, Avista Utilities and PacifiCorp        The commission denied a request of                tute rollover of excess generation for
 – all contend that a rapidly expand-         the utilities to lower the size limits of         net metered solar facilities. The PRC
 ing number of wind projects is having        projects than can qualify for the post            proposed rule provided that utilities
 a profound impact on customers and           rate within 14 days of its Nov. 5 appli-          must offer solar QFs the opportunity to
 on utility transmission systems. The         cation. However, the commission did               choose between the current monthly
 utilities further contend that large-scale   say that any decision it makes next               true-up program that pays out credits
 wind farms are breaking up their proj-       year in regard to lowering the limit will         for excess energy generated at the
 ects into smaller 10-MW increments to        become effective Dec. 14, 2010.                   avoided cost rate or a roll-forward op-
 qualify for the published avoided-cost                                                         tion that credits their generation of
 rate, which may be more attractive           Parties intervening in the case claim             excess energy at a 1:1 kWh ratio with
 than rates for projects larger than 10       the utilities’ petition is not backed up by       no monetization. The proposal deter-
 MW.                                          evidence and will have an adverse im-             mined that the appropriate valuation of
                                              pact on PURPA development in Idaho.               the excess energy produced for those
 In Idaho, the avoided-cost rate is based     “Once in place, such a drop in the eli-           customers who choose the roll-over
 on the estimated cost a utility would in-    gibility cap is likely to remain in place         option without monetization is a 1:1 ra-
 cur in building a combined-cycle natu-       for many months, likely years,” said the          tio of kWh’s; for those solar QFs who
 ral gas power plant. Currently, only         Northwest and Intermountain Power                 choose to retain the monthly true-ups
 qualifying projects 10 MW or smaller         Producers Coalition. “The implications            (and non-solar QFs), that energy will
 qualify for the posted rate. The com-        on the renewable energy industry will             be valued at the avoided cost rate.
 mission must ensure the avoided-cost         be widespread and have impacts on
 rate is reasonable for utility customers     the entire economy of Idaho.”                     We recently found out that this vote
 because 100 percent of the price utili-                                                        died in a 2-2 vote (with one commis-
 ties pay to qualifying producers is in-      The commissions is seeking comment                sioner abstaining). Since 18 months
 cluded in customer rates.                    on three matters: 1) the advisability of          have passed since the beginning of
                                              reducing the published avoided cost el-           the rulemaking process, a new rule-
 In its petition, the three utilities are     igibility cap; 2) if the eligibility cap is re-   making would need to be re-opened to
 claiming that the small-power proj-          duced, the appropriateness of exempt-             address this issue again, though com-
 ects PURPA was originally intended           ing non-wind projects from the reduced            ments from this process could be re-
 to encourage are now developed by            eligibility cap and 3) the consequences           gurgitated.
 sophisticated large-scale wind farms         of dividing larger wind projects into 10
 that aggregate several projects within       average megawatt projects in order to             Source: Jason Keyes
 a mile apart from each other to qualify      qualify for the published rate.
 for the avoided-cost rate. When com-
 bined, these projects can total up to        Public comments are accepted via e-
 100 or 150 MW interconnecting at one         mail by accessing the commission’s
 delivery point, the utilities claim. For     homepage at and                 OTHER STATES
 example, Idaho Power claims it now           clicking on “Comments & Questions
 has 208 MW of wind generation and            About a Case.” Fill in the case number            HAWAII
 another 264 MW of approved wind              (GNR-E-10-04) and enter your com-                 Hawaii has started accepting applica-
 contracts scheduled to be online by          ments.                                            tions for its new Feed-in Tariff program,
 the end of this year. The utility claims                                                       which seeks to encourage the installa-
 it could have 1,100 MW of wind gen-          Source: Idaho PUC press release                   tion of renewable energy systems by
 eration on its system in the near term,                                                        householders, businesses and devel-
 which exceeds the amount of power                                                              opers.
 used in Idaho Power’s total system on
 the lightest energy-use days. The rapid                                                        The program offers pre-set rates and

 State News in Detail / Page 6                                                                          Connecting to the Grid/December 2010
STATE NEWS IN DETAIL                                  CONTINUED

 standardized contract terms for selling      IREC NEWS                                   rangement that ensures solar custom-
 renewable electricity to the grid via Ha-                                                ers receive fair credit for the excess
 waiian Electric utilities.                   FREEING THE GRID 2010 IS HERE!              electricity their systems generate dur-
                                                                                          ing daytime hours. In 2010, 37 states
                                              On December 8, 2010, renewable
 The rates set for the feed-in tariffs vary                                               received “A” or “B” grades for their net
                                              energy advocates released the 2010
 by size of project and by the technol-                                                   metering policies, up from 13 states in
                                              Edition of Freeing the Grid, a policy
 ogy being used.                                                                          2007.
                                              guide that grades states on two key
                                              programs: net metering and intercon-
 The 20-year contracts are designed                                                            • Interconnection Procedures:
                                              nection procedures. Together these
 to make it easier to sell clean energy                                                   Interconnection procedures are the
                                              policies empower energy customers
 to the grid from small-scale solar pho-                                                  rules and processes that an energy
                                              to use solar and other renewables to
 tovoltaic systems, concentrated solar                                                    customer must follow to be able to
                                              meet their own electricity needs. Now
 power technology, onshore wind or in-                                                    “plug” their renewable energy system
                                              in its fourth year of publication, the
 line hydropower installations.                                                           into the electricity grid. In some cas-
                                              2010 report indicates that states con-
                                                                                          es, the interconnection process is so
                                              tinue to drive progress in the nation’s
 The program will accept enough proj-                                                     lengthy, arduous and/or expensive that
                                              renewable energy economy.
 ects to provide up to 60 megawatts to-                                                   it thwarts the development of clean en-
 tal capacity on Oahu, 10MW on Hawaii                                                     ergy altogether. In 2010, twenty states
                                              “Electricity rules and regulations can
 Island and 10MW in Maui County.                                                          received “A” or “B” grades for good
                                              be incredibly complex and difficult to
                                                                                          interconnection practices, a tremen-
                                              get right, particularly in the pioneering
 Feed-in Tariffs have been under devel-                                                   dous improvement over the solitary “B”
                                              territory of renewables and self-gen-
 opment for Hawaii since a 2008 clean                                                     grade awarded in 2007.
                                              eration. Freeing the Grid is intended
 energy agreement between the state
                                              to help states understand how their
 and utilities, and aim to help the state                                                      • Head of the Class: Massachu-
                                              policies currently rank and how to im-
 reach its target to generate 70% of its                                                  setts and Utah received exceptional
                                              prove them to achieve real renewable
 electricity from renewable sources by                                                    “A” grades in both interconnection and
                                              energy market and job growth,” said
 2030.                                                                                    net metering. This is the first time in
                                              Kyle Rabin, Director of the Network for
                                                                                          the report’s history that any state has
                                              New Energy Choices (NNEC). “The
 Hawaii has had a net metering pro-                                                       achieved “A” grades in both catego-
                                              tremendous progress we’ve seen over
 gram in place for projects up to 10kW                                                    ries.
                                              the four short years of the report’s pub-
 since 2001 and 100kW since 2008,
                                              lication leaves no doubt that states are
 where homes and businesses could                                                              • Most Likely to Succeed: Colo-
                                              able and willing to tackle these tough
 offset utility bills with power they gen-                                                rado’s use of proven best practices and
                                              issues and advance our clean energy
 erate on-site.                                                                           innovative new policy models earned it
                                                                                          the top score in net metering. Colorado
 The new feed-in tariff will allow them to                                                allows many customer types and sys-
                                              Freeing the Grid is produced annually
 go a step further and feed in power to                                                   tems sizes to benefit from net meter-
                                              by NNEC in partnership with Vote So-
 the grid for sale to their utility.                                                      ing, enabling broad participation in the
                                              lar, the Interstate Renewable Energy
                                                                                          state’s renewable energy economy. In
                                              Council (IREC), and the North Carolina
 Source: Brighter Energy                                                                  2010, the state also took pioneering
                                              Solar Center. Download the full text of
                                                                                          steps to allow shared, community solar
                                              the 2010 report at: www.freeingthegrid.
                                                                                          energy systems to receive net meter-
                                                                                          ing credits through “Community Solar
                                              Freeing the Grid 2010 report highlights:
                                                                                          “I am proud that Colorado is leading
                                                  • Net Metering Rules: Common-
                                                                                          the way on distributed renewable en-
                                              ly known as the policy that lets a cus-
                                                                                          ergy,” said Gov. Bill Ritter who also
                                              tomer’s electric meter spin backwards,
                                                                                          contributed the foreword to the 2010
                                              net metering is a simple billing ar-
                                                                                          report. “We have worked hard to diver-

 State News in Detail / Page 7                                                                    Connecting to the Grid/December 2010
                                       MISCELLANEOUS NEWS
                                       AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

sify our energy supplies and create jobs,     IREC’s new model rules consider
while also trying to make distributed re-     many of the basic issues facing com-
newable energy affordable for our com-        munity renewables programs. These
mercial and residential sectors. This is      include: renewable system size, in-
smart, forward-thinking policy that other     terconnection, eligibility for participa-
states can, and should, follow.”              tion, allocation of the benefits flowing
                                              from participation, and net metering of
“One of the most exciting developments        system production. IREC developed
graded for the first time this year’s Free-   the model program rules for commu-
ing the Grid is the state-wide community      nity-scale renewable systems working
solar programs that are moving forward        closely with The Vote Solar Initiative,
in a number of places throughout the          a California-based not-for-profit work-
country. Community solar allows renters,      ing to bring solar energy into the main-
customers with shaded roofs, and others       stream.
who were formerly unable to participate
solar energy to do so which supports          “The goal of this effort is to provide      UPCOMING
green jobs in their local communities         stakeholders with best practice pro-        EVENTS
while simultaneously expanding mar-           gram rules they can tailor to the indi-
kets for renewable energy,” said Joseph       vidual circumstances and policy pref-
Wiedman, Partner at Keyes and Fox,            erences of their state, without having      Power-Gen International
LLP which represents IREC.                    to reinvent the wheel at each turn,”        December 14-16, 2010
                                              said Joseph Wiedman, author of the          Orlando, FL
Added Carrie Hitt, President of the So-       model rules.
lar Alliance, a state-focused association                                                 Community Wind Across America:
of solar equipment manufacturers, inte-       Interest in community solar and wind        Windustry Community Wind Energy
grators and financiers, “Freeing the Grid     initiatives stems from recognition that     Conference
shows that, with the right leadership and     many utility customers are not able to      February 8-9, 2011
policy design, states can quickly make        host an on-site renewable power sys-        State College, PA
substantial clean energy gains. We look       tem, yet they would like to invest in lo-
forward to working alongside legislators,     cal renewable generation. Examples          Good Jobs, Green Jobs National
regulators and other partners to continue     include occupants of multi-tenant resi-     Conference
building our nation’s new energy econ-        dential and commercial buildings, and       February 8-10, 2011
omy, state by state and community by          properties not conducive to an on-site      Washington, DC
community.”                                   system, due to shading or structural
                                              restrictions.                               NARUC Winter Meeting
Source: Vote Solar                                                                        February 13-16, 2011
                                              “We believe community policies, if          Washington, D.C.
                                              well designed, can provide the right
                                              approach to create additional oppor-        Renewable Energy World Confer-
IREC RELEASES MODEL RULES FOR                 tunities for customers to support so-       ence and Expo
COMMUNITY RENEWABLES                          lar development,” said Jane Weiss-          March 8-10, 2011
                                              man, IREC executive director. “And          Tampa, FL
The Interstate Renewable Energy Coun-         there are cost benefits, as community
cil (IREC) recently released its first Mod-   systems can harness economies of
el Program Rules for Community Re-            scale.”
newables. Based on best practices, the                                                    Visit IREC’s online calendar for
model rules are presented to facilitate       Wiedman, a partner with the law             more details and events. If you have
co-investment in local renewable power        firm Keyes & Fox, represents IREC           events you’d like to include in this
facilities.                                   in state-level rulemakings on many          newsletter, contact us.

Miscellaneous News / Page 8                                                                  Connecting to the Grid/December 2010
                                        MISCELLANEOUS NEWS
                                        AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

topics essential to building sustainable       customers who are on the same dis-
markets for renewable energy, including        tribution circuit as the community re-       utility transmission providers to offer
net metering rules, interconnection stan-      newables project at the participant’s        all customers the option to schedule
dards, plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs),       full retail rate;                            transmission service at 15-minute in-
smart grid and community renewables.                 • Requiring utilities to include       tervals instead of the current hourly
                                               system purchase costs, operations            scheduling procedure. The more fre-
Two key principles greatly influenced          and maintenance, necessary invest-           quent scheduling intervals will provide
the development of the Model Program           ment returns and other costs related         for greater accuracy in scheduling,
Rules, and IREC’s consideration of the         to a utility-owned system in their offer-    thereby mitigating the amount of an-
various policy choices available in de-        ings to potential participants; and          cillary services the customer will need
signing a community renewables pro-                  • Allowing utilities to administer     to supply or purchase, according to
gram:                                          a community renewables program.              FERC.
                                               The Model Program Rules also in-
    1.    Participants in a community re-      clude definitions, general provisions        The NOPR also proposes that inter-
newables program should have an ex-            and net metering provisions.                 connection customers whose gener-
perience that is as similar as possible                                                     ating facilities include variable energy
to that of customers investing in on-site      IREC’s Model Rules for Community             resources provide meteorological and
renewable energy; and                          Renewables are available as a PDF            operational data to transmission pro-
    2.      Community renewables pro-          on IREC’s website:          viders, and encourages transmission
grams should not undermine success-                                                         providers with variable energy re-
ful on-site renewable energy programs.                                                      sources on their systems to implement
Rather, they should expand options for                                                      power production forecasting.
                                               MISCELLANEOUS                                A third element of the proposal clari-
The model rules are the product of more        NEWS                                         fies that transmission providers have
than a year’s work, including the release                                                   the opportunity, through a newly pro-
of proposed rules in April 2010, which                                                      posed schedule, to recover costs as-
generated significant feedback from            FERC PROPOSES RENEWABLE IN-                  sociated with the integration of vari-
utilities, industry participants and other     TERCONNECTION REFORM                         able energy resources and sets forth
stakeholders. In addition to stakeholder       The Federal Energy Regulatory Com-           FERC’s proposed expectations that
comments on the proposed rules, IREC           mission (FERC) has proposed reforms          the transmission provider would need
engaged in detailed discussions with           to its rules to lay the foundation for in-   to demonstrate its implementation of
stakeholders and reviewed current com-         tegrating the rapid growth of variable       intra-hourly scheduling and power pro-
munity renewables efforts at the munici-       energy resources into the nation’s           duction forecasting in order to ensure
pal and state levels in Massachusetts,         power grid.                                  variable energy resources are being
Colorado, California, Washington and                                                        charged at a just and reasonable rate.
Utah.                                          The proposed new rule would reform
                                               the Open Access Transmission Tar-            Source: Solar Industry Magazine
Some highlights from the 2010 Model            iffs (OATT) and the Large Generator
Program Rules for Community Renew-             Interconnection Agreements filed by
ables include:                                 public utility transmission providers to
                                               require them to offer services that will     NEW EPA RULES MAY MAKE SO-
    • Using virtual net metering (VNM)         allow for a more efficient integration       LAR MORE COMPETITIVE
to allocate benefits of participation onto a   of variable energy resources such as         As the Environmental Protection
customer’s monthly electric bill;              solar, wind and hydrokinetics into the       Agency ramps up its efforts to reduce
    • Allowing kWhs generated by a             grid system.                                 pollution under the Clean Air Act, it re-
community renewables project be given                                                       leased air-permitting guidance related
a monetary value that can be applied to        The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking            to the greenhouse gas (GHG) permits
a participant’s bill;                          (NOPR) proposes to require public            that large polluters will have to pur-
    • Valuing kWh credits received by                                                       chase starting in 2011. While far short
                                                                                            of a carbon tax, the additional permit-

Miscellaneous News / Page 9                                                                         Connecting to the Grid/December 2010
                                       MISCELLANEOUS NEWS
                                       AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

ting costs will help level the economic     tive to the traditional centralized power
playing field between renewable ener-       generation infrastructure. RDEG capac-
gy, like solar and wind, and polluting,     ity additions are expected to increase
fossil fuel-generated energy.               from 5.9 gigawatts (GW) in 2009 to 15.1
                                            GW in 2015.
In a press release on Nov. 10, the
EPA said, “In January 2011, industries      “The economics of sub-utility scale re-
that are large emitters of GHGs, and        newable energy continue to improve at
are planning to build new facilities or     a rapid pace,” says senior analyst Peter
make major modifications to existing        Asmus. “This downward price curve is
ones, will work with permitting authori-    fueling demand for distributed solar PV
ties to identify and implement BACT         and small wind systems as an alterna-
[i.e., best available control technology]   tive to centralized power generation. But
to minimize their GHGs.” These pro-         the transition to a more distributed sys-
visions would only affect large GHG         tem is no small matter, and it requires
producers, not farms or restaurants,        the evolution of policies, technologies,
according to the release.                   and business models.”
                                                                                         FAIR USE NOTICE
                                                                                         This newsletter may contain copy-
Since the permit fees are based on          Asmus adds that, while RDEG currently
                                                                                         righted material, the use of which has
each company’s projected pollution,         represents a very small part of the global   not always been specifically authorized
the fees are determined on a case-by-       electric power generation capacity--just     by the copyright owner. We are making
case basis. So, in some circumstanc-        0.2%--it has the potential to play a much    such material available in our efforts
es, the cost of permitting new coal or      larger role in the future.                   to advance understanding of energy,
natural gas power plants could make                                                      economic, scientific and related issues,
                                                                                         et cetera.
them more expensive then wind and           Although Europe and the United States
maybe even solar.                           are the largest markets for RDEG to-         We believe this constitutes a "fair use"
                                            day, China and India are huge potential      of any such copyrighted material as
Source: Clean Energy Authority              markets. Pike Research anticipates that      provided for in section 107 of the U.S.
                                            Europe will continue to be the largest       Copyright Law. In accordance with Title
                                            market for RDEG during the 2010-2015         17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in
                                                                                         the newsletter is distributed without
REPORT SHOWS DISTRIBUTED                    forecast period, but China will see the
                                                                                         profit to those who have expressed a
GENERATION MARKET TO TRIPLE                 largest market growth as the cost of re-     prior interest in receiving the included
BY 2015                                     newable energy approaches that of con-       information for research and educa-
The market for renewable distributed        ventional energy.                            tional purposes.
energy generation (RDEG) will grow
from $50.8 billion in 2009 to $154.7        Source: Sustainable Business News            See
billion by 2015, according to a new                                                      uscode17/usc_sec_17_00000107----
                                                                                         000-.html for more information on “fair
analysis. Pike Research says the
                                                                                         use.” If you wish to use copyrighted ma-
global electric power industry is evolv-                                                 terial from this newsletter for purposes
ing from a financial and engineering                                                     of your own that go beyond "fair use,"
model that relies on large centralized                                                   you must obtain permission from the
power plants owned by the utilities                                                      copyright owner.
to one that is more diverse--both in
sources of generation and ownership
of the generation assets.                                                                Connecting to the Grid is a compilation
                                                                                         of news and regulatory events from
RDEG, which includes both distribut-                                                     across North America. Connecting to
ed solar photovoltaics (PV) and small                                                    the Grid is not a legal document and us-
wind power, is an emerging mode of                                                       ers should not place any legal reliance
operations that is a growing alterna-                                                    upon its content.

Miscellaneous News / Page 10                                                             Connecting to the Grid/December 2010

To top