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Net metering Cap

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LiquidFluoride
(@LiquidFluoride)
Trusted Member

and I'm getting a quote for "off grid"........ cringing, the whole time

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Posted : April 28, 2014 6:34 pm
LiquidFluoride
(@LiquidFluoride)
Trusted Member

The Senate Rules Committee approved a bill Wednesday allowing household-sized solar and wind power producers to continue net-metering excess power to the Water and Power Authority at retail price, but limiting larger producers to a smaller "Feed In Tariff" payment reflecting WAPA's costs.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Craig Barshinger leaves full retail-rate net metering for producers of up to 5 KW of solar power. But systems of 5kw to 500kw would not get retail net metering, but instead a tariff set by PSC that pays producers less to account for WAPA's avoided cost. Larger systems would be considered utility-level production and priced contractually as they arise.

"A feed in tariff is inherently a more fair business arrangement," Barshinger said, introducing the bill, which WAPA officials supported. The new system will allow WAPA to move forward on getting more distributed alternative energy onto the grid without putting itself in a bad financial position, according to Barshinger.

Net metering was capped at 15 MW territorywide in 2009, with a 10 MW cap on St. Thomas and a 5 MW cap on St. Croix. A year ago, the growth of net metering was making news but reaching the caps was still distant. Since then, St. Croix has either connected or contracted to connect about 4.1 megawatts of the five available. St. Thomas still has plenty of room.

Hodge testified during committee hearings that the caps cannot be increased without putting a physical strain on the electric grid, and that much more alternative power during the day would not save WAPA fuel and would start to cost more and more, as WAPA is forced to stop using its energy-saving waste-heat generator. Ultimately, other ratepayers have to make up the cost, subsidizing the net metering, he said.
Putting in the Feed In Tariff would help protect the grid and WAPA, while reserving nearly a megawatt of power for numerous small household producers instead of one or two large commercial operators, Hodge said during committee hearings earlier this month.

http://stthomassource.com/content/news/local-news/2014/04/17/net-metering-changes-move-forward-senate

so... they "can't" raise the cap or they can?

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Posted : April 30, 2014 12:40 pm
Cory K
(@Cory_K)
New Member

So what happens to the solar companies on STX now?

Over the last 4 years ive installed about 100 Enphase solar systems, mostly on St Croix. My job was basically cut by 90% the day we met the cap. Doors close and new ones will open.....soon.....hopefully. All is not lost though, you can still install battery systems and use the sunpower for less than half of what WAPA is currently charging. Even though i have to find other work, I'm still very proud that i/we helped alot of people and proliferated the technology here. Our systems will generate 1 gWh or about 1,000,000 kWh/per year! Not bad for a small local company in 4 years! Thats alot less oil, and now propane that we have to pay to ship and store here. Fewer emissions to breathe...not to mention lower power bills. 🙂

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Posted : May 13, 2014 6:38 pm
IslandHops
(@IslandHops)
Trusted Member

So what happens to the solar companies on STX now?

Over the last 4 years ive installed about 100 Enphase solar systems, mostly on St Croix. My job was basically cut by 90% the day we met the cap. Doors close and new ones will open.....soon.....hopefully. All is not lost though, you can still install battery systems and use the sunpower for less than half of what WAPA is currently charging. Even though i have to find other work, I'm still very proud that i/we helped alot of people and proliferated the technology here. Our systems will generate 1 gWh or about 1,000,000 kWh/per year! Not bad for a small local company in 4 years! Thats alot less oil, and now propane that we have to pay to ship and store here. Fewer emissions to breathe...not to mention lower power bills. 🙂

Sorry to hear that. I figured it will be tough times for a while. Off-grid systems will become more appealing once battery technology advances and becomes more affordable. Building from scratch it's a no-brainer to be off-grid but there isn't much building going on on STX these days either.

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Posted : May 13, 2014 8:01 pm
LiquidFluoride
(@LiquidFluoride)
Trusted Member

Rumors of expanded Net metering are out there... perhaps more of the hovensa WouWou, perhaps more real... I'll wait and see.

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Posted : May 13, 2014 8:23 pm
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