NewEnergyNews: ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW VIRTUAL NET METERING WILL SAVE LOW INCOME MASSACHUSETTS RESIDENTS $60 MILLION

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Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Taming the Wild West: The CA ISO’s Bid For A Regional Electricity Market
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: A Closer Look At The Plunging Cost Of Battery Energy Storage
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: New arrival Spruce ups game for 'trusted energy advisor' role
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: What Utilities Are Planning For Solar
  • QUICK NEWS, September 27: Facts Check Trump – Fed Investments In Solar A Huge Success; Top Midwest Utility In $2 Billion Wind Buy; Solar Cost Increasingly Beating The Market
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Future Of Offshore Wind Foreseen
  • QUICK NEWS, September 26: The Sonification Of Climate Change; Wind Is Red, White, And Green; The New Hybrid Solar-Storage Concept Module
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • Weekend Video: Good News On Climate – The Public Is Starting To Get It
  • Weekend Video: The Libertarian Failure On Climate Change
  • Weekend Video: New Energy Is Doable – And Is Being Done
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-World Gets A Step Closer To Enforceable Climate Laws
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-New Energy Ready To Power The World Future
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Sahara Sun Could Power The World
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Turbines Building Off UK Coast
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, September 22:

  • TTTA Thursday-Why Having Babies Could Be The Climate Change Answer
  • TTTA Thursday-Big Texas Wind Backed By Amazon
  • TTTA Thursday-Big Sun Sparkles In Nevada
  • TTTA Thursday-EV Racing Coming To The Streets Of Brooklyn
  • --------------------------

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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, f is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

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    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, September 29:

  • Mars Sees Threat To Chocolate In Climate Change
  • Wearable New Energy
  • Picture Proof That U.S. Offshore Wind Lives
  • BMW’s Used Battery Power Plant

    Wednesday, March 18, 2015

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW VIRTUAL NET METERING WILL SAVE LOW INCOME MASSACHUSETTS RESIDENTS $60 MILLION

    How virtual net metering will save low income Massachusetts residents $60 million; SunEdison is working with 16 housing authorities to supply low-cost solar power

    Herman K. Trabish, December 9, 2014 (Utility Dive)

    A little-known solar financing plan not available in many states will allow Massachusetts low income housing tenants to save state taxpayers $60 million over the 2 decades.

    Solar arrays funded, built, operated, and maintained by SunEdison, will deliver their 39.5 megawatts of nameplate capacity from 10 locations across Massachusetts to the state’s grid. The net metering credits they earn, as mandated by Massachusetts’ virtual net metering (VNM) law, will be credited to the electricity bills of 16 housing authorities (HAs).

    Because of the VNM law, the HAs will be able purchase the credits from SunEdison at negotiated power purchase agreement (PPA) prices some 15% to 25% below the retail rate they would otherwise pay for electricity, according to SunEdison Managing Director for Sales Steve Raeder.

    SunEdison was also able to provide each HA a contract and price molded to its needs and electricity use. The end result is a cumulative $60 million or more in savings for the HAs over the 20 year terms of the contracts.

    Housing authorities in New Bedford, Brockton, Somerville, Barnstable, Fairhaven, Fall River, Gardner, Leominster, Northampton, Plymouth, Somerset, and Winchendon are participating.

    “There are over 100 housing authorities in Massachusetts,” added SunEdison Director of New England Sales Jarryd Commerford. “This is a ‘set it and forget it’ deal for them that allows them to save up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in electricity.” Those savings come from often limited, taxpayer-funded budgets, he added. “The savings free up funding. The housing authorities can spend their money on other types of programs and that indirectly benefits people who live in public housing.”

    The deal

    One of the key factors in the savings calculation, Raeder said, was the conservative assumption of a 1.5% to 2% yearly retail electricity rate increase. “We think it will go up more and as it goes up, the housing authorities will save more money because they are locked into fixed contracts.”

    SunEdison and its financial partners provided all funding. By leveraging the other typical opportunities available to solar developers like the 30% federal Investment Tax Credit and the solar renewable energy credits, Raeder explained, SunEdison was able to retain a competitive rate of return.

    There is further leverage in its ability to roll the solar assets into its TerraForm Power YieldCo, through which new revenue can be generated from them. More cost-offsetting remuneration is possible in the arrays being operated and maintained by the SunEdison Renewable Operations Center (ROC), an around the clock facility with global reach based in California, Raeder noted.

    The Massachusetts angle

    In most states, such a deal could not happen because there is no virtual net metering. Massachusetts utilities are bound by the VNM law, Commerford explained, “to provide credits to the customer of record for the amount of electricity on the meter at the generation site.”

    “The Massachusetts law is much different than in any other state because you just allocate credits to whomever and however you want,” explained EQ Research Policy Analyst Chelsea Barnes. “Other state laws provide a range of possible allocations but in Massachusetts it almost resembles selling electricity.”

    SunEdison’s application of VNM in this case “definitely is the purpose,” Barnes added. “The idea is to expand opportunities for people who don’t have a good site for solar or other renewables.”

    “The housing authorities are physically constrained. We can build larger systems remotely and sell credits,” Raeder agreed. “This enables folks in denser urban environments to benefit from remotely sited ground mounted systems much bigger than we could ever put on a roof or parking lot canopy.”

    The VNM law will also allow other public entities (as defined by the Department of Public Utilities) to similarly cut their expenses with solar, Commerford said. That means municipalities who don’t want to put the roofs of historic government buildings at risk and educational institutions who want to preserve their own land for their students’ use.

    This shows “the success of Massachusetts’ solar programs,” noted New England Clean Energy Council VP Janet Gail Besser: And it also shows, she added "that the benefits of solar are not limited to those with large bank accounts.”

    “There are things about the Massachusetts market that allow these deals to pencil,” Raeder said. “But our cost of goods continues to drop across the supply chain. Solar is the cheapest resource in some markets today, unsubsidized. Over the next decade, solar will be the cheapest form of electricity, unsubsidized, in most markets.”

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