Win For Solar Industry! FERC dismissed net metering Challenge
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected a plea last week to declare solar net metering policies illegal. The filing with FERC threatened to end utility practices of compensating solar owners for their excess energy, but the agency dismissed the petition, saying that net metering should remain in states’ control.
On April 14th, 2020, NERA filed a petition suggesting that excess energy produced by a solar owner should be priced at the utility’s avoided cost, i.e. wholesale. The agency argued that there is an exclusive federal jurisdiction over energy sales from generation sources located on the customer side of the retail meter, and the rates for such sales should be priced in accordance with federal law. That would have caused the utility bill of current solar owners to skyrocket.
FERC dismissed the petition because NERA failed to cite any specific harms or controversies that should be addressed by the commission, said FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee during the Thursday hearing.
Win for Solar Industry
FERC respected states’ authority to establish their own net energy metering policies and preserved existing net energy metering laws across the United States, a move that allows renewable energy developers and investors to continue building critical energy infrastructure amid the global pandemic. This decision is a victory for state regulators and for anyone with a vested interest in net metering policy.