PA: Concerns emerge regarding 3rd-party solar ownership, net metering


Pennsylvania’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission has filed comments expressing concern with the Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission’s proposed rulemaking that would revise certain regulations of the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act of 2004, including regulations pertaining to net metering, interconnection and compliance provisions of the AEPS. In it comments, the IRRC asked the PUC to:  (1) explain how “regulatory hurdles” that 3rd-party owners and operators of alternative energy systems would encounter are consistent with the intent of the General Assembly, the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act of 2004, and amendments to the Act; (2) explain why proposed limitations on net metering and potential charges on customer-generators could be justified; (3) work with the General Assembly to ensure the final regulation is within the scope of the PUC’s granted regulatory authority; (4) clarify how the final regulation would affect current customer-generators and distributed generation systems currently under development; (5) explain why it believes adding language that specifies that a customer-generator must be a retail electric customer is consistent with the Act; (6) tighten the proposed definition of “utility” to prevent threatening the 3rd-party ownership model; (7) justify proposed language requiring on-site load and limiting DG systems to generate no more than 110% of the customer-generator’s annual electric consumption; (8) justify why it proposes requiring PUC approval for net-metered systems 500 kW or greater; (9) develop a better method to address annual net excess generation compensation; and (10) reconsider proposed standards for DG systems greater than 3 MW, which could hamper wind and solar PV development. The PUC initiated this proceeding (Docket No. L-2014-2404361) in February 2014.