N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center Releases Q1 Solar Policy Update to “The 50 States of Solar”

 

Raleigh, N.C. (April 29, 2015) – The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center announced the release of the quarterly installment of “The 50 States of Solar: A Quarterly Look at America’s Fast-Evolving Distributed Solar Policy Conversation.”

This report is the most comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the rapidly-evolving state policy landscape for distributed solar. It includes links to track what is happening at the state legislative and regulatory level through the end of Q1 2015. The 50 States of Solar was prepared by the Center’s Energy Policy team, which also manages the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, and Meister Consultants Group of Boston, Massachusetts.

 

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The report provides details on 70 instances in 39 states, Washington DC, and 2 U.S. territories of formally proposed or enacted regulatory and legislative state-level distribute solar policy changes during Q1 2015.

“Distributed solar policy is at a crucial juncture,” said Benjamin Inskeep, Energy Policy Analyst at the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center. “As solar continues its unprecedented boom across North Carolina and the country, regulators and legislatures are now examining issues like how to integrate increasing amounts of solar on the grid, compensate owners for electricity they generate, and ensure electricity rates are well designed. While several general trends are emerging, our report demonstrates that every state is forging a unique path in how they address these issues.”

Key Details From The 50 States of Solar

Table 1 below taken from the report summarizes the distributed solar policies included in the report.

 

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The report found that there were 22 states with proposed or finalized legislative or regulatory changes to net energy metering or community solar policies during Q1 2015. Meanwhile, 15 states had legislative or regulatory-led efforts studying the value of solar, net metering rules, or distributed generation policy.

The report found that many utilities across the U.S. are proposing increased fixed customer charges for residential users. Of the 24 total instances proposed or decided in the past six months, the average existing monthly residential fixed charge was $10.37, and the average proposed fixed charge was $19.18—an average proposed increase of 58 percent.

In addition, there were five instances in which utilities requested or received added charges specific to customers installing rooftop solar PV. Five states had introduced or passed legislation related to expanding options for third-party solar sales, and three states had action related to utility programs for solar PV on residential rooftops.

Box 1 below taken from the report highlights five notable distributed solar policy developments from Q1 2015.

50states report

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

About the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center

The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center, as part of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University, advances a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices and policies. It serves as a resource for innovative, green energy technologies through technology demonstration, technical assistance, outreach and training. For more information about the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center, visit: http://www.nccleantech.ncsu.edu. Twitter: @NCCleanTech