WHAT’S NEW AS OF JUNE 2014?
Note from the Editor
Getting a Fair Share of Solar
The U.S. residential solar sector has scored a first: During the first quarter of 2014, more megawatts of residential PV were installed than commercial PV, prompting cheers from industry observers. But while such growth demonstrates the mounting strength of the residential solar sector, opportunities for enjoying the benefits of residential solar are not unlimited.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) believes that in some areas of the country, as little as 25 percent of homes may be suitable for a PV system, due to physical limitations of rooftops, poor building orientation, and/or inadequate solar resources. Other hurdles that stand between residents and solar can include building ownership, easements and building restrictions, upfront costs of system ownership, and difficulties in obtaining financing.
Considering these limitations, how can residential solar maintain head-turning levels of growth, and how can more residential consumers join in? If only residential consumers could choose to utilize solar energy virtually, generated by systems installed somewhere other than on their own rooftops (or their landlords’ rooftops). But wait; they can!
State News in Detail
Electricity Supplier won’t buy Vermont renewable energy credits. Read more.
Restructuring New York State’s utilities. Read more.
Virginia seeks public comment on Energy Plan. Read more.
Community solar coming of age in Michigan. Read more.
Governor Nixon announces comprehensive energy plan for Missouri. Read more.
Minnesota Power set to reach renewable-energy mandate 11 years early. Read more.
TX statewide renewable energy production up by 12 percent in 2013. Read more.
GA Commission approves wind generation as part of Georgia Power’s resource mix. Read more.
CPS Energy makes revisions to solar-energy fees. Read more.
The U.S. Army to get 90 MW of solar for less than the “avoided cost” of fossil fuels. Read more.
Xcel asks federal regulators to ensure wind power pays its own way. Read more.
Solar paired with energy storage scores a regulatory win in California. Read more.
Utah finalizes energy efficiency and conservation plan. Read more.
U.S. Virgin Islands adopts long-term standard contracts for renewable energy. Read more.
Hawaii passes the point of no return on distributed generation. Read more.
Federal and Miscellaneous News
View an archived version of the newsletter here: June 2014 Connecting to the Grid Newsletter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.