Public Utility Commission Thursday voted to modify its previously approved regulations related to the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act of 2004, addressing objections recently raised by the state’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission.
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.
The 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 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.
Related Story:IRRC Unanimously Disapproves PUC Net-Metering Final Regulation