Minnesota Sets ‘Value of Solar’ Formula

by | Mar 17, 2014

Minnesota Energy ManageMinnesota utility regulators will allow state investor-owned utilities two options for paying solar customers for unused electricity they contribute to the grid: Utilities can either pay the retail electricity rate; or they can voluntarily apply to use a new “value-of-solar” formula.

Utilities have complained that paying the retail rate via net metering is over-advantageous to solar customers at the expense of non-solar customers. The new value-of-solar” formula follows nearly two years of discussions among state officials, utility representatives and solar advocates, reports Midwest Energy News.

The new formula incorporates the federal government’s social cost of carbon figure and aims to reflect all of the costs and benefits to all parties involved, including utilities, solar owners and other ratepayers.

Net-metering battles have flared up in some states. In January, Duke Energy indicated it would seek to reduce how much North Carolina solar customers are paid for generating electricity from solar panels.

And the Arizona Corporation Commission resolved a net-metering skirmish by instituting a small charge on future customers who install rooftop solar panels, as well as directing Arizona Public Service to provide quarterly reports on the pace of rooftop solar adoption to assist the Commission in considering further increases.

Photo: Minnesota State Capitol via Shutterstock

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