Mississippi PSC Modifies Net Metering Rules

Central District Commissioner Brent Bailey

The Mississippi Public Service Commission, in a bipartisan, vote has accredited amendments to the previous Net Metering and Interconnection Rules, now known as the Net Renewable Generation Rules.

The newly adopted guidelines embrace insurance policies that look to extend solar adoption throughout the board, enhancing grid reliability and financial growth, along with enhancing entry to solar for low- and middle-income residents.

Net era is a billing apply that enables property house owners with distributed era (DG) capability from solar panels or wind generators to promote their extra era capability again to the grid within the type of credit. This docket was opened in January 2021, pursuant to the reopener directive of the unique December 2015 Order Adopting Net Metering, with the intention to ponder mandatory revisions to the Rules.

After opening the docket, a number of events filed written feedback, which have been reviewed by the fee and integrated right into a draft rule that was revealed each on this docket and with the Secretary of State in January of this 12 months. Additional written feedback have been solicited and reviewed, and a public listening to was performed instantly following the open assembly on March 1. After rigorously contemplating the entire written feedback, in addition to the testimony introduced on the public listening to, fee workers have ready a Final Order Amending the Rules.

The names of the principles and terminology all through the principles have been amended to reference Net Renewable Generation versus Net Metering. These adjustments have been made to raised mirror the kind of distributed era program made accessible underneath the principles, which isn’t conventional internet metering, however quite a extra basic compensation program for behind-the-meter distributed era.

The order retains the two.5 cents/kWh Distributed Generation Benefits Adder, however grandfathers it in for a interval of 25 years. The low-income advantages adders is likewise grandfathered in for 25 years.

Eligibility for the low-income advantages adder has been expanded to incorporate prospects with annual family incomes of as much as 250% of the federal poverty degree.

The rule now contains meter aggregation provisions, which permit prospects with a number of meters to make use of the energy generated by one DG system to offset their utilization on all eligible meters. To be eligible for aggregation, all meters have to be positioned on the identical premises or inside the service space of the shoppers’ present electrical supplier.

DG prospects are not required to switch RECs to their utilities as a situation of receiving the two.5 cents per kWh Distributed Generation Benefits Adder; nevertheless, if a buyer elects to obtain an up-front rebate, that buyer could also be required to switch their RECs as a situation of receiving the rebate.

The definition of internet era has been revised to notice that particular metering necessities are obviated with using superior metering infrastructure / sensible meters. The rule now expressly states that battery storage programs shall not have an effect on the whole nameplate capability of a buyer’s DG system. System capability limits underneath the rule will now be measured when it comes to alternating present quite than direct present.

The earlier laborious 3% participation cap has been modified and elevated. Now, utilities might search fee approval to refuse extra DG prospects if and when participation reaches 4% of the utility’s complete system peak demand.

Similarly, quite than together with a compulsory reopener provision, the rule now permits the fee to train its discretion in deciding whether or not to reopen the rulemaking for added adjustments on the earliest of both 5 years from the date of this order, or the purpose at which complete internet distributed era capability reaches 4% of the utilities’ system peak demand.

In addition to those amendments to the Rules themselves, the Order units forth provisions instructing the utilities to make separate filings for the approval of Solar-for-Schools applications and up-front rebates for distributed era programs. This initiative will give public colleges a chance to develop energy financial savings, reinvest in educational applications, and make college students conscious of those new applied sciences.

“It is my honor to serve as Commissioner during the final adoption of the Net Renewable Generation Rules,” states Central District Commissioner Brent Bailey. “These new rules will make Mississippi open to business to clean energy technology developers, manufacturers, and installers, and will help boost low-income opportunities allowing Mississippians to experience the cost-saving benefits of solar energy. It has been my pleasure to work with customers, utilities, renewable energy businesses, clean energy advocates, other stakeholders and my colleagues to improve our MPSC distributed generation policy. This policy standardizes the opportunities for individuals and businesses to invest in distributed energy resources to offset all or a portion of their overall energy use with electricity generated from on-site resources.”

“I am proud to have worked over the past 18 months to remove market barriers for consumers who want to generate their own electricity,” states Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley. “This well-balanced rule will allow for real opportunities for the creation of good paying blue collar jobs in the solar industry. Mississippians grow their own food and fix their own vehicles and deserve to have the chance to generate their own electricity and save themselves money. This balanced, measured approach by the PSC opens the door of opportunity.”

“Also, under our Solar-for-Schools program, school districts will have the opportunity to maximize the value of their lands and see savings that can be passed on to taxpayers and hopefully lighten the onerous costs borne by parents and teachers for such things as classroom supplies,” provides Presley.

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