Strange bedfellows: How solar and utilities struck a net metering compromise in New York

 

Cuomo & Solar CityAcross the country, solar customers & installers and battling with utilities over solar net metering – which “turns the meter backwards” at the same retail rate that customers pay their utility.

Solar advocates argue that net metering provides more benefits – to the grid and all customers – than the net metered retail price.

Utilities argue that solar net metering customers “zero out” their bill and don’t contribute to maintaining the aging grid, so the utilities lose money (or other customers have to pay more to make up the lost revenue).

Now, a number of New York State utilities have come together with several of the largest solar companies to reach a compromise.

The bottom line: we all depend on the grid. Those with solar need the grid at night, on cloudy days, or whenever their usage exceeds their solar generation. We need to keep the utilities healthy to maintain and evolve the interconnected grid that is the center of civilization. New York’s proposal provides an interesting path toward ending the war – providing a profit incentive so that utilities can make money on solar, while customers and the solar industry have a clear glide path forward.    Read the Utility Dive article on the issue.

New York State Takes Giant Step Towards Clean Energy

New York State On Green Environmental Conservation and Nature Icon Pattern

New York State has taken another giant step toward creating a modern, 21st Century electric system with additional orders from the NYS Public Service Commission.

Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) aims to provide the means for all NYS electric users to become more active and engaged CONsumers of cleaner – and less expensive – energy; and to provide the ability for everyone to become PROsumers, generating clean energy and selling it back into an interactive electric grid.

Public Service Commission Chair Audrey Zibelman says it best: “New York is taking a new direction today by creating the most-advanced and forward-thinking business model for electric utility rates anywhere in the country…By aligning utility profits with market-enabling activities, residential and business customers can lower their energy bills through advances in digital technology and power-saving systems built for private homes and apartments, as well as entire neighborhoods.”

The new REV order provide utilities with the means to recover their infrastructure costs, while incentivizing them to increase customer engagement, improve energy efficiency and system utilization, and make it easier to interconnect distributed solar & other clean energy generation.

Greentech Media produced a good summary of all the key points for further information.

EarthKind Energy wind purchase makes University at Buffalo #1 in EPA Green Power Partnership

62 Siemens-Windenergieanlagen des Typs SWT-2.3-101 drehen sich hier im Windpark West Wind nahe Wellington in Neuseeland. Aufgrund konstanter Windbedingungen und hoher Windgeschwindigkeiten eignet sich Neuseeland bestens für die Realisierung von Windenergieprojekten. West Wind ist der erste Windpark in Neuseeland, den Siemens im Oktober 2009 in Betrieb nahm. 62 Siemens wind turbines of the type SWT-2.3-101 turn here in the wind park West Wind near Wellington in New Zealand. The consistently strong wind speeds in New Zealand make the country ideal for wind power plants. West Wind is the first wind power plant Siemens commissioned in October 2009.

photograph from Siemens

EarthKind Energy Wind Energy purchase makes University at Buffalo #1 in EPA’s Green Power Partnership Program in the country.   If your organization is interested in purchasing some of these highly rated wind certificates then please contact Ron Kamen at 845-266-3723 or Ron.Kamen@earthkindenergy.com

Here is the link to UB’s announcement earlier this month.  Read Here.

 

The Duck Curve

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Are you familiar with  the “Duck Curve”?   Remember the “Bell Curve”  in collage statistics?  The Duck Curve is basically a concern over the availability of solar in the day time,  but going down as the sun goes down.  This concern has turned into something of a urban myth of late according to  Robbie Orvis, Michael O’Boyle, and Hallie Kennan of Energy Innovation.  The authors propose that by using common sense, smart rate design, and regional sharing/coordination we can minimize the impact of the Duck.  Read the article here.

New Yorker’s For Clean Energy Launch

The video from the May 2, 2016 New Yorker’s for Clean Power is finally out! Mark Ruffalo, Ron Kamen and others spoke at the event held in New York City. Ron, representing E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) spoke about the recently published New York Clean Jobs report and the launching of the New Yorker’s for Clean Power campaign.

PSE&G Installing 100 Megawatt Solar System on Landfill

NJ landfill solar

We have been seeing more and more solar installations being done on landfills, brownfields… over the past few years. Seems to be catching on. Public Service Electric & Gas Co. in New Jersey has proposed to install a 100 megawatt system. What is particularly significant here is that PSE&G is a utility. Historically new installations have been done by solar companies. One major sticky point however is that the utility is asking for a 9.75% rate of return on it’s investment. And that increase would go to the tax payers of New Jersey. Read here.

Million Solar Strong

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The “Million Solar Strong Campaign”  has kicked into high gear!  With the millionth solar system being installed in the United States,  SEIA has decided to try for a whole lot more by starting the “Million Solar Strong Campaign”  this week.  Environmental Entrepreneurs as well  our company EarthKind Energy has signed onto SEIA’s Solar Energy Declaration which clearly states that  the solar transformation is here to stay, no doubt of that.

Mark Ruffalo, Energy Experts, Leading Environmental and Business Groups Launch Major ‘New Yorkers for Clean Power’ Campaign

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On May 2  Mark Ruffalo, energy expert Ron Kamen,  leading environmental and business groups launched   “New Yorkers for Clean Power” Campaign.  A press event was held in New York City in which Ruffalo and others presented the “Clean  Jobs New York Report” to the public.  “Clean Jobs New York” report showing that more than 85,000 New Yorkers already work in the clean energy sector and underscoring the potential for substantial clean energy job growth. There are 7,500 business establishments across all 62 counties. The comprehensive new analysis is from the national nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, the New York State Sustainable Business Council and New Yorkers for Clean Power.

Read the full press release here.