Electric utilities are experiencing more and more customers turning to solar PV generation to offset purchases from the utility. This is being driven by improvements in solar PV technology, significant decreases in cost, and state and federal incentives. In addition small scale battery storage and other distributed generation technology is becoming more attractive. The future utility will include a large amount of distributed generation along with the traditional central power generation and transmission. Customers may reduce the amount of electricity they purchase from the utility, but they will still require utility’s grid to provide power when their generation is not producing and to send excess generation to.
These developments necessitate that utilities rethink how they recover costs through their rates. While it has always been the best practice for utilities to examine their rates regularly to make sure they are set appropriately for their current operations, growing customer-owned generation necessitates that utilities make significant changes in how they recover fixed costs. While it is tempting to put this off, it is better to make a plan early and make rate adjustments incrementally overtime.
IAMU is holding a workshop on November 3rd, in conjunction with the Energy Conference titled “Understanding Impacts of Distributed Solar Generation on Cost Recovery and Rates”. The workshop will feature discussion on legal requirements pertaining to rates and customer-owned distributed generation, rate implications from solar installations, options for solar implementation, and pros and cons of different rate designs. The workshop is specifically for IAMU utility members and their joint action agencies.
Click here to register.