Tag: net metering
Yesterday we were privileged to be a part of the dedication ceremony for the solar array Standard Solar recently completed in Worton, Maryland – one that sits at the forefront of solar in the state, as it is the first public sector project to take advantage of Maryland’s aggregate net-metering law that allows more than one facility to make use of the electricity generated by a single system. Kent County is truly leading the way for other communities to make use of large scale installations to power multiple buildings. In this case, the 1.5 MW system will serve Kent County High School, KCHS Radio Antenna, Worton Elementary School, the Kent County Community Center and the County Public Works Facility north of Chestertown.
On hand to dedicate the system and cut the ribbon (yes, we had giant scissors!) were county and state officials and a group of Kent County Parks and Recreation campers who had an opportunity to see the system up close and will further benefit from the system moving forward, as Kent County plans to incorporate the system into its science curriculum.
Developed with our partner Washington Gas Energy Systems, who will own and operate the system, this array is a shining example of community leaders’ foresight. Along with providing a large percentage of the power needed by the facilities mentioned above, the rate secured for the electricity through a power purchase agreement will save Kent County money on their utility costs. In addition, the array will serve as an educational tool for students as a real-world example of the promise of a clean energy future.
A working group that includes Standard Solar and other state-registered solar designers and installers has begun hashing out the draft of a rule to value the excess amount of electricity a solar system generates. A new law mandates that the Maryland Public Service Commission host the working group, which began this past week.
The initial skirmish pits a proposal from Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) against the interests of solar system owners looking to maximize the value of the electricity their systems are putting on to the regional power grid during hot summer weekdays. The installers, led by Attorney Chris Cook – the principal author of Maryland’s original net metering law — have formed the “Joint Solar Advocates” to work with BGE, the state’s ratepayer advocate and the Commission staff attorney.
In essence, BGE wants to create a value figured on an aggregate average of excess electricity throughout a particular zone in their service territory. Such an approach could eviscerate what the net metering in Maryland was and still is designed to accomplish: to, among other things, “encourage private investment in renewable energy resources, stimulate in-State economic growth (and) enhance continued diversification of the State’s energy resource mix…”. The Joint Solar Advocates group is seeking methodology used in New Jersey where excess generation over a 12-month period is paid to the solar system owner at an average price in each utility’s service territory using a price geared to the system’s location in the regional power grid. This is called LMP for “locational marginal pricing.”
Check back here at the Standard Solar blog for updates. You can also try to track the filings on the Maryland Public Service Commission’s web page dedicated to Rule Making (RM) 41, “Regulations in Connection with Electricity – Net Energy Metering – Credits” here: http://webapp.psc.state.md.us/Intranet/AdminDocket/CaseAction_new.cfm?CaseNumber=RM41