Solar Set to Grow under Michigan’s New Avoided Cost Rules for Consumers Energy

The Michigan Public Service Commission has finalized a formula to determine the avoided cost that Consumers Energy Co. must pay to buy power from qualifying facilities under the federal Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) of 1978. The new methodology extends the power purchase contract period to up to 20 years, and boosts the capacity of eligible projects to 2 megawatts, up from 100 kilowatts. While current contracts are based on the costs of running a coal plant, new contracts will be based on the energy and capacity costs of natural gas-fueled plants. The ruling, which marks the first update to avoided cost payments in almost 30 years, is expected to increase certainty for distributed energy resources, such as solar.

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Solar Set to Grow under Michigan’s New Avoided Cost Rules for Consumers Energy

The Michigan Public Service Commission has finalized a formula to determine the avoided cost that Consumers Energy Co. must pay to buy power from qualifying facilities under the federal Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) of 1978. The new methodology extends the power purchase contract period to up to 20 years, and boosts the capacity of eligible projects to 2 megawatts, up from 100 kilowatts. While current contracts are based on the costs of running a coal plant, new contracts will be based on the energy and capacity costs of natural gas-fueled plants. The ruling, which marks the first update to avoided cost payments in almost 30 years, is expected to increase certainty for distributed energy resources, such as solar.

Ohio Net Metering Update Limits System Size but Opens Doors to Energy Marketers

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has revised its net metering rules requiring regulated electric utilities to offer a standard tariff to standard service offer customers, while competitive retail electric service providers can offer diverse net metering products and service to shopping customers. The Ohio rule comes after months of review and seeks to address the interests of distributed generation customers, electric utilities, and competitive providers. Importantly, the ruling opens doors to energy marketers, some of which might be able to offer better rates than the utilities.

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Ohio Net Metering Update Limits System Size but Opens Doors to Energy Marketers

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has revised its net metering rules requiring regulated electric utilities to offer a standard tariff to standard service offer customers, while competitive retail electric service providers can offer diverse net metering products and service to shopping customers. The Ohio rule comes after months of review and seeks to address the interests of distributed generation customers, electric utilities, and competitive providers. Importantly, the ruling opens doors to energy marketers, some of which might be able to offer better rates than the utilities.

Hurricane-Battered U.S. Gives Momentum to Sweeping Push for Microgrids

Panelists at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing concurred that having more diversified resources would help the authorities manage outages in the wake of hurricanes such as Irma, Harvey, and Maria. The catastrophic storms have emphasized the need for significant investments in the nation’s grid to protect it from a major, long-lasting outage that has affected Puerto Rico. Policymakers are turning to battery storage and microgrids as they do not just strengthen the grid against inclement weather but bring an array of other benefits.

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New York Approves Utility Proposals for Setting the Value of DER

The New York State Public Service Commission (NY PSC) has issued an order approving utility proposals to implement its Value of Distributed Energy Resources (VDER) compensation mechanism, a structure that values DER in a more accurate manner including locational and environmental benefits that were previously not quantified. However, solar advocates that have so far commended New York’s reforms said the approval was inadequately reviewed and could undercompensate DER. While studies on the costs and benefits of solar and other types of DERs will help states set their policies, New York will provide invaluable real-life lessons for other states with emerging solar markets.

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EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – New York Approves Utility Proposals for Setting the Value of DER

The New York State Public Service Commission (NY PSC) has issued an order approving utility proposals to implement its Value of Distributed Energy Resources (VDER) compensation mechanism, a structure that values DER in a more accurate manner including locational and environmental benefits that were previously not quantified. However, solar advocates that have so far commended New York’s reforms said the approval was inadequately reviewed and could undercompensate DER. While studies on the costs and benefits of solar and other types of DERs will help other states set their policies, New York will provide invaluable real-life lessons for other states with emerging solar markets.

DOE’s Sunshot Initiative Reaches Utility Solar Cost Target Three Years ahead of Schedule

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced new priorities for its SunShot Initiative after it met the utility-scale solar cost target three years ahead of schedule. The new funding programs will prioritize research on grid reliability, reflecting the growing role of solar in the generation mix. In addition, over the coming years, DOE would examine the costs and benefits of net energy metering to utilities, ratepayers, and the grid.

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EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – DOE’s SunShot Initiative Reaches Utility Solar Cost Target Three Years ahead of Schedule

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced new priorities for its SunShot Initiative after it met the utility-scale solar cost target three years ahead of schedule. The new funding programs will prioritize research on grid reliability, reflecting the growing role of solar in the generation mix. In addition, over the coming years, DOE would examine the costs and benefits of net energy metering to utilities, ratepayers, and the grid.

Solar-Soft-Costs-Percentage

Rhode Island Streamlines Solar Permitting in Clean Energy Bill Package

Rhode Island has enacted a suite of clean energy bills which includes legislation to streamline solar permitting and renewable energy interconnection. Rhode Island thus joins a small group of states that strive to standardize solar permitting, an important step toward reducing the soft costs of solar. Standardizing permitting is likely the next major opportunity for the solar industry which has benefited immensely from cheaper technology and financing.

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EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Rhode Island Streamlines Solar Permitting in Clean Energy Bill Package

Rhode Island has enacted a suite of clean energy bills which includes legislation to streamline solar permitting and renewable energy interconnection. Rhode Island thus joins a small group of states that strive to standardize solar permitting, an important step toward reducing the soft costs of solar. Standardizing permitting is likely the next major opportunity for the solar industry which has benefited immensely from cheaper technology and financing.

Distributed-Solar-Q3-2016

Idaho Power Proposes to Create a Solar Rate Class to Avoid Cost-Shifting

Idaho Power is seeking permission to close the current net metering schedule and create two rate classes for residential and small general service customers from 2018. The move echoes a national trend towards reforming net metering policy to address cost shifts from net metered to standard customers. As rooftop solar and other forms of distributed generation spread, debates over NEM will intensify leading states to seek alternative models such as New York’s Value of DER rate.

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