net metering

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A recent ruling by state utility regulators removes the limits on how much electricity owners of solar panels can sell back to the grid.

In a decision announced last Friday, the Public Utilities Commission says it’s doing away with the current 100-megawatt limit on solar net-metering. That’s when owners of solar panels sell any unused energy they generate back to the public grid.

The decision settles a long running debate between advocates for the state’s growing solar industry, and utility companies.

Amy Quinton; NHPR

New Hampshire already permits a limited amount of net-metering, which allows solar panel owners to sell some power back to the electric grid.  The solar industry has long called for those limits to be lifted, but the state's utilities say they can only accommodate so much, without passing on costs to other customers. 


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Plus, a primer on net-metering -- the system that's now the bedrock and rationale for America’s solar industry - and it happened without any planning, strategy or government approval. We'll learn about the accidental origins of solar policy.

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More homeowners and businesses can now take advantage of a financial incentive for installing solar power.

A bill signed by Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan on Monday lifts the cap on a program called net metering, which allows solar power generators to sell the energy they don't use back into the electric grid. An existing cap limits how many megawatts can be sold back into the grid, and this legislation doubles the cap. It takes effect immediately.

Hassan says lifting the cap will help New Hampshire's clean energy industry "grow and thrive."

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The New Hampshire house has backed a measure to lift the cap on a key solar energy program.

Currently, those generating solar power in New Hampshire can be reimbursed for sending excess energy back to the grid, but the cap on that reimbursement program is set at 50 megawatts. The House measure would increase that to 100 megawatts. 

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Officials say plans to build an 8.5-megawatt solar project in Merrimack County can't proceed until more people are allowed to net meter.

Franklin Mayor Ken Merrifield tells the Concord Monitor the solar installation, slated to become the largest in the state, would help halve the city's electric bill.

The project has received municipal approval, but Merrifield says the project is made financially viable through net metering, which lets customers sell excess solar power back into the grid.

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GUESTS:

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 The future of solar power in the Granite State was front and center in the New Hampshire statehouse Wednesday, as law makers presented a deal to extend a program that has been crucial to the development of the state’s solar energy industry called net metering.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A Democrat running for governor is calling on New Hampshire to raise and possibly eliminate the limit on how much renewable power consumers can sell back to the state's utilities.

Under "net metering", consumers who use sources such as solar can earn credits for putting power back on the grid. The current limit in the state is 50 megawatts and the state's utilities are closing in on that figure.

Gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern said Monday the state should immediately raise the cap and consider erasing it altogether.

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In recent years, New Hampshire has seen rapid growth in solar power. With the approaching cap on a solar development incentive known as net metering, though, many in the industry say they can’t expand much more.  We’ll find out what’s going on, and how bright or dim the future might be for solar in the Granite State.

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Via USDA website

A compromise is in the works to raise the limit on the number of solar panels being installed on New Hampshire's electricity grid. The deal would likely result in less revenue for solar owners, but would allow the current boom in solar installations to continue.

At an annual energy summit in Concord Monday, Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley said a bipartisan group is working to lift the cap on a solar incentive called net-metering.

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If you want to install solar panels at your home, it’s about to get a little more expensive. A reduction in the state’s renewable energy rebate goes into effect Thursday. The previous rebate was $.75 per watt, maxing out at $3,750, whereas the new one will be $.50 a watt, with a maximum of $2,500.

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By all accounts, New Hampshire’s solar industry has started to accelerate in a big way. This year New Hampshire is on track to see a five-fold expansion in the number of solar farms in state since last fall. While that may be the case now, many in the industry say solar is racing towards a brick wall.

Here’s why.

Solar power is supported by a collage of incentives in New Hampshire: There are state rebates for smaller projects, state grants for larger ones, a federal investment tax credit, and renewable energy credits that owners can sell.