Massachusetts DPU adopts net metering regulations for government facilities

On February 17, 2012, the Massachusetts DPU issued a net metering order promulgating legislation that revised the state’s net metering law.This order adopts three significant changes made under Chapter 359 of the Acts of 2010.

First, the order specifies there will be two aggregate participation caps — one cap reserved for municipalities and other governmental entities, and another cap for all other net metering facilities. The aggregate net metering capacity of non-governmental facilities may not exceed 1% of the distribution company’s peak load (consistent with the previous law).  However, the order also created a second aggregate net metering cap that limits net metering facilities of a municipality or other governmental entity to an additional 2% of the distribution company’s peak load.

Secondly, it defines net metering facility of a municipality or other government entity as:

A Class II or III net metering facility:  (1) that is owned or operated by a municipality or other governmental entity; or (2) of which the municipality or other governmental entity is assigned 100% of the output.

Third, the order sets the maximum amount of net metering generating capacity eligible for net metering by a municipality or other governmental entity at 10 megawatts (“MW”).

Comments in the proceeding focused on the following topics of discussion:

(1) What entities should qualify as a municipality or other governmental entity;

(2) How the 10 MW cap should apply;

(3) Whether a municipality or other governmental entity should serve as the Host Customer in order to qualify under the public cap; and

(4) How a Host Customer should be allowed to allocate net metering credits generated from a net metering facility of a municipality or other governmental entity.

The DPU Order also noted that, while some commenters’ issues were not addressed in this proceeding, they may be better addressed in one of the DPU’s other proceedings related to net metering, which include: Inquiry Into Net Metering and Distributed Generation, D.P.U. 11-11; Investigation into Interconnection of Distributed Generation, D.P.U. 11-75; Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative, D.P.U. 11-96; and Investigation into Model Net Metering Tariff, D.P.U. 12-01. Together, these proceedings should adequately address the questions that commenters have raised in the course of this rulemaking with respect to the provision of net metering services in the state.

Great work, Massachusetts, we wish every state was as excited about net metering.

 

Source: DPU Order, 11-10-A 

 

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