ORIGINAL REPORTING: Connecticut Takes On Solar
Connecticut legislature poised to act as community solar collides with net metering; A fight for a community solar law is now a debate about solar compensation
Herman K. Trabish | March 27, 2018 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: A version of the legislation described here was passed that protected a compromised NEM and allowed a community solar future for the state.
Connecticut's community solar law has run head-on into the state's net metering debate. A bill that would mandate a new community solar program for the state was compromised by a bill to limit net energy metering (NEM). Supporters of community solar don't want it to be hampered by the proposed change to NEM. Advocates for the change to NEM don't want the community solar law to move ahead without it. The result could be solar gridlock. The numbers show how popular community solar, also called shared solar, is becoming. In 2015, 68 utilities in 23 states had projects; By March 2018, 228 utilities in 36 states had projects, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
The District of Columbia and 17 states have codified community solar policies, according to the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA). Connecticut’s long-delayed pilot projects were approved late in 2017 and Senate Bill (SB) 336 would mandate a full-scale program – if the NEM debate doesn’t stop it. A provision in Senate Bill (SB) 9, a budget bill with multiple energy provisions also working through the legislature, radically changes Connecticut’s retail rate NEM compensation for customer-owned solar. Solar industry and environmental advocates say SB 9’s compensation reform is unacceptable. Utilities and the state's consumer advocate say NEM must be changed… click here for more
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