Up Front with Erica Schroeder McConnell

Sharing the Burden and the Benefits: The Quandary of Allocating DER Interconnection Costs

Interconnecting DERs to the distribution grid is generally a “cost-causer pays” system: consumers who want solar pay for necessary distribution system upgrades, even when the upgrades will likely support future interconnection projects. What’s more, future projects benefit from investment in the grid’s infrastructure and could escape upgrade fees. Economics and fairness theories aside, this practice can kill perfectly viable and beneficial projects that didn’t budget for high upgrade costs and cause major delays in the process.

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Maryland Makes Strides Towards New Shared Solar Program

Maryland is one step closer to joining over a dozen other leading states in offering a new statewide shared solar program for the benefit of all customers. After nearly a year since the passage of House Bill 1087 which mandated the creation of a Community Solar Energy Generating System (CSEGS) program, draft rules were issued on Friday, April 29th.

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Expanding Solar Access for Disadvantaged Communities

It was a good month for California consumers and for clean energy progress across the U.S., as other states watched a landmark vote by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) that modifies but doesn’t undermine the state’s net energy metering program (NEM), and the value proposition of customer-generated distributed renewable energy.

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Easing the Transition

What a week for energy news! And right in the middle of it all is what we believe to be a landmark paper. In the event you didn’t find time to take a look at it, here are the highlights.

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MA Action Significantly Improves Interconnection

Last week, Massachusetts formally adopted improvements to its interconnection procedures that make it easier for small renewable energy systems to connect to the distribution grid, without compromising safety or power quality. MA joins a handful of other leading states, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), adopting use of a 100 percent of minimum load penetration screen in its supplemental review process. Most simply, this is a recognition that smaller systems have less complex review needs.

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Erica Schroeder McConnell
About Erica Schroeder McConnell
 

Erica is special counsel with Shute, Mihaly and Weinberger.

 

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