Friday, October 21, 2011

Vote Solar Institute cites state’s leadership on connecting clean energy



Delaware State Seal
DOVER  – The Vote Solar Institute has moved Delaware to “the head of the class” when it comes to connecting renewable resources to the grid in the 2011 edition of its report, “Freeing the Grid”. Delaware was one of three states to earn an “A” grade for both net metering and interconnection policies that support renewable resources such as wind and solar energy, with the report ranking its policies “among the strongest in the country.”
Under Governor Jack Markell’s leadership, Delaware adopted a progressive net-metering law with strong bipartisan support in 2010 (Senate Bill 267, sponsored by Senators Harris McDowell and Gary Simpson and Representatives Dennis Williams and Michael Mulrooney) that makes it easier for utility customers to sell excess renewable energy to the grid.
Delaware is adopting leading-edge interconnection policies that allow small renewable resources to connect to the grid without requiring redundant and restrictive review from PJM Interconnection, the regional grid manager. The Vote Solar report praised the state’s collaboration with local electrical utilities along with the efforts of the Public Service Commission to implement model interconnection standards.
The report highlights Delaware’s progress, noting that the state moved from an “F” to an “A” in the category of interconnection policy:
As of mid-2011, Delaware is poised to adopt interconnection procedures that are among the strongest in the country and have received a score of “A” in Freeing the Grid 2011. In addition, the adoption of rules for aggregate metering and community renewables has greatly expanded opportunities for investment in renewable energy among customer groups who previously would have been unable to fully utilize the state’s solid net metering program. Most importantly, Delaware’s renewable energy policies are finally aligned to bring significant investment in renewable energy to the state.
DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara welcomed the news, saying, “Under Governor Markell’s leadership, Delaware is taking significant steps to transition towards cleaner sources of energy. Through the innovative clean energy policies recognized in this report, including virtual net-metering, community aggregation, and interconnection policies, Delaware is emerging as one of the best places in the U.S. for clean energy investments.”
“Integrating more clean energy into the grid puts more people to work, supports capital investment, and promotes a healthier environment,” Gov. Markell said. “Through strong bipartisan support, Delaware has demonstrated repeatedly that we can strengthen our economy and improve our environment at the same time.”
Vote Solar cites Delaware’s progressive polices including simplified interconnection procedures, aggregate net metering that allows customers to link several meters on a farm or college campus, and allowing communities to link multiple home meters to one jointly-owned renewable resource.