The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has just released the 2009 updates for its highly respected and influential rules and procedures for interconnecting and net metering distributed generation.
Many of the model procedures that regulators and utilities look to in developing local standards have not been updated in the past three years. Since that time, there has been significant market growth for renewable distributed generation. To facilitate that growth, many states have adopted net metering and interconnection policies and many others have revisited and expanded their existing policies to incorporate lessons learned from facilitating increased penetrations of distributed generation.
IREC has been a participant in more than thirty state utility commission rulemakings regarding interconnection and net metering of distributed generation. IREC's model rule updates capture these evolved best practices and compile them into a template regulators and utilities can use as a starting point when drafting local rules.
Important advances in interconnection procedures include:
- clarifying that third party ownership of facilities is permissible;
- raising the size eligibility for the simplest installations from 10 kilowatts to 25 kilowatts;
- allowing online applications;
- addressing state-jurisdictional facilities over ten megawatts; and
- updating provisions related to network interconnections.
Important advances in net metering rules include:
- increase in the size of systems eligible for net metering;
- expansion of program capacity caps;
- meter aggregation; and
- accommodation of third-party ownership of net metered systems.