Net Metering and Microgrids: Do Your Homework

Net metering and microgrids can go hand-in-hand, but first you have to do your homework. Across the country, utilities are challenging net metering projects and laws, resulting in time-consuming delays and expensive charges and rate adjustments for some —and thwarted net metering projects for others. Utilities successfully challenged net … [Read more...]

Podcast: What's The Difference Between Community Solar & Green Power

With PG&E planning to offer solar as both a community solar and green power program, we asked what's the difference--and who would be interested in community solar instead of green power. Erica Schroeder McConnell, attorney for Interstate Renewable Energy Council, answers the question in this podcast. … [Read more...]

The Wart on California’s Community Solar Program for Utility Customers

REC's Erica Schroeder McConnell Explains Community Solar in California

We often think of California as a leader in clean energy. But the state's new community solar program for utility customers--the result of SB 43--is not a move that other states should follow. The legislation established both a green power program and a community solar program for utility customers under which customers can acquire as much as … [Read more...]

California Gov. Brown Pushes Microgrids…PG&E Seeks Energy Storage

California Gov. Jerry Brown pushed microgrids and a doubling of energy efficiency in buildings, in his inaugural speech this week. Brown also wants to increase the state’s renewable portfolio standard from 33 percent to 50 percent. The governor described an emerging distributed grid that will help the state reduce greenhouses gases. “I … [Read more...]

How to Make Many Community Microgrids: The Hunters Point Model

If neighborhoods controlled their power supply, chances are many would opt for clean and efficient energy, especially if it’s cost-effective. But energy choices aren’t left to the locals in the United States. Instead, utilities, cities and states determine our mix of power plants. Communities might have more say if they develop their own … [Read more...]

Industry Insiders _Not_ Surprised that Utilities Like Microgrids

grid fixes

So it turns out that utilities like microgrids, contrary to the notion – almost lore – that they dread them as economic disruptors or technical headaches. In fact, utilities view microgrids as a business opportunity. That was the finding of a recent project that I had the pleasure of working on with the nice folks at Utility Dive, who … [Read more...]