PUC Approves Modified Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards
Published on 6/9/2016
Filed under: Electric
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today voted to modify its previously approved regulations related to the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act (AEPS Act) of 2004, addressing objections recently raised by the state’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC).
The Commission voted 4-0 to adopt the revised Rulemaking Order, which clarifies issues related to net metering, interconnection and compliance provisions. The 148-page order was originally approved in February 2016, following more than two years of public input and discussion, during which the Commission carefully considered comments from individuals, businesses, government agencies, utilities and other concerned parties.
Today’s PUC action strikes a single section from the rulemaking, which proposed a limit on systems that are eligible for net metering – based on 200 percent of their historic load. As noted by IRRC during its review, the intent of the PUC’s action was to strike a balance between promoting the development of renewable energy and important consumer protections, but the percentage limit resulted in objections regarding statutory authority.
The rulemaking addresses numerous issues related to AEPS standards, including:
The addition of definitions for aggregator, default service provider, grid emergencies, microgrids and moving water impoundments;
Revisions to net metering rules and inclusion of a process for obtaining Commission approval to net meter alternative energy systems with a nameplate capacity of 500 kilowatts or greater;
Clarification of the virtual meter aggregation language;
Clarification of net metering compensation for customer-generators receiving generation service from electric distribution companies, default service providers and electric generation suppliers;
Addition of provisions for adjusting Tier I compliance obligations on a quarterly basis to comply with the Act 129 of 2008 amendments; and
- Clarification of the authority given to the program administrator to suspend or revoke the qualification of an alternative energy system and to withhold or retire past, current or future alternative energy credits for violations.
The changes adopted by the Commission today will now be submitted to IRRC and the designated committees of both houses of the General Assembly. If approved, the rulemaking will be reviewed by the Office of Attorney General and the Governor’s Budget Office and would become effective upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
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Docket No. L-2014-2404361
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