Distributed Generation State Legislative Update

Date: 21 Jan 2005 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Many state legislators around the country have returned to their respective capitol buildings for another year of debate. We’ve run across a few interesting proposals involving distributed generation. A Connecticut proposal would provide an increased rate of return for distribution utilities to build distributed generation projects rather than new transmission lines. In Maine, lawmakers have introduced a bill to make cogeneration the primary energy efficiency strategy and to promote distributed generation by all consumers. The state of Washington is considering expanding net metering and standardizing interconnection procedures for projects under 20 MW.

That proposed House bill 5569 would amend CT statutes to allow certain electric distribution companies to build, finance or operate distributed energy resources up to 25 MW. The proposal would also allow the distributed generation investment by such a company to earn a return through their rate base at an after-tax rate of at least one percent but not more than five percent higher than the company’s authorized return. The purpose of this bill is to encourage distributed generation as an alternative to electric transmission projects in the southwest portion of the state and other areas of the state to provide for reliable, secure source of energy.

The concept in House bill 236 is to create a manufacturing energy
policy. The goals include reducing the cost of energy and of utility service for Maine consumers, endorsing cogeneration as the State’s primary energy efficiency strategy, promoting distributed generation by all consumers, protecting minimum interconnection standards for generating units and other provisions.

House bill 1011 was introduced in January and would expand net metering in Washington from 25 kW to 100 kW [for solar, wind, or hydro power]. The bill also requires a standardized interconnection procedure for projects under 20 MW. Three procedural paths for processing applications for interconnection are proposed in the bill: (1) a simplified process for certified inverter based facilities of 10 kW or less; (2) an expedited process for certified generating facilities that have power rating of two MW or less; and (3) a standard process for other generators of 20 MW or less. Under the simplified path, the cost of the application to the customer may not exceed $25.


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John Farrell

John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he develops tools that allow communities to take charge of their energy future, and pursue the maximum economic benefits of the transition to 100% renewable power.