Monadnock Ledger-Transcript – Governor indicators invoice growing internet metering cap for municipal power initiatives

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A invoice signed into regulation by Gov. Chris Sununu on Aug. 26 opens the door for cities or college districts to accomplice on bigger power initiatives.

Home Invoice 315 revises the method for teams, together with municipalities, to purchase into power companies. The invoice up to date a 2019 regulation, which permits cities and counties to buy energy on behalf of residents of their space via opt-out packages.

Whereas critics of the invoice mentioned the brand new laws would make navigating the system troublesome, proponents testified it will present extra choices and potential price financial savings for customers.

The invoice might be utilized by native municipalities presently looking for to discover power choices, reminiscent of Keene and Harrisville, who’ve launched into group energy shopping for alternatives, or Dublin, which lately mentioned beginning the identical course of.

It additionally permits for municipalities to get probably the most out of renewable power infrastructure. The invoice was signed two weeks in the past on the Derry Switch Station. Derry is presently looking for bids to assemble a 2.2 megawatt photo voltaic farm on the city’s former landfill – a big sufficient array to supply power for all the city’s municipal services.

The invoice, which incorporates an growth of the online metering cap for municipal power initiatives, permits the city to take advantage of the anticipated venture.

Patricia Martin, chair of the Rindge Vitality Fee and activist, mentioned she was “thrilled” concerning the passage of the invoice and the doorways it would open for group energy. She mentioned the Rindge Vitality Fee has hosted a number of talks concerning the idea of group energy previously few years, and has been watching working fashions all through the state as they’ve taken off.

“I’m very excited to see group energy and that Cheshire County is getting on board,” Martin mentioned. “I’m so happy and hope that is just the start of a snowball impact of us getting extra into clear power state-wide. We’re manner behind within the state, particularly on power effectivity.”

Home Rep. Michael Vose (R-Epping), one of many sponsors of the invoice and the chairman of the Home Science, Know-how and Vitality committee, mentioned whereas the unique regulation was good in idea, it hadn’t been working as supposed.

“Properly, it took lots of time, lots of effort and lots of conferences to make it work, nevertheless it succeeded,” Vose mentioned. “We made it work, we acquired there.”

Although not a part of the unique invoice, a Senate modification to the invoice which in the end was signed is an growth of the renewable internet metering cap for cities and cities.

Internet metering is when renewable power turbines – reminiscent of a town-owned photo voltaic discipline – promote again the surplus electrical energy they produce to their utility. Earlier than final week, electrical energy generated by techniques bigger than 1 Megawatt receives wholesale funds for his or her power, which didn’t incentivize larger-scale initiatives.

Home Invoice 315 will increase the online metering cap from 1 Megawatt to five Megawatts.

Vose mentioned that was a change he supported.

“We understood that this was the best factor to do. We expect that is the best method to go, and it exhibits that power coverage may be crafted in a cautious and deliberate manner that doesn’t damage ratepayers and doesn’t put our grid in danger, so long as we do it rigorously and do it proper, and HB 315 is a basic instance of doing it proper,” Vose mentioned.

Martin additionally praised the modification, noting that there are present initiatives, reminiscent of city-owned hydropower in Nashua, that are already going to have the ability to reap the advantages, and it may encourage larger-scale initiatives in different communities.

“Rindge desires to do, sooner or later, a group photo voltaic venture, that’s one thing we’ve been speaking about for a very long time, and we hold in search of the best alternative and the best location,” Martin mentioned.

Sununu known as the passage of HB315, together with Senate Invoice 91, an omnibus invoice addressing a number of points of renewable power, a “large win” for the state.

Sununu mentioned the invoice addressed points that might convey bigger renewable power initiatives to a “screeching halt” in different states, and mentioned their passage would end in a “massive win for New Hampshire for actually many years to come back.”

“We’re an environmentally pushed state, we’d like clear power, we’d like renewable initiatives, and we do them slightly bit completely different right here and a heck of quite a bit higher,” Sununu mentioned.

“These payments present that you would be able to transfer ahead with power innovation with out taking undue dangers or driving up the price of electrical energy,” Vose mentioned. “HB315 will enable counties, cities, and teams to assemble collectively to buy electrical energy from a wide range of sources, not simply their native utility. It additional gives a manner for these group aggregations to handle energy in a manner that may not be appropriate or price efficient for the broader grid.”

 

Ashley Saari may be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.

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