States across the Midwest are updating their interconnection rules for solar customers, a process likely to cut the time and money required to establish a connection to the grid. In addition, the new standards will equip utilities to efficiently process solar applications as their numbers likely escalate in coming years, according to an attorney who worked on revisions recently approved by the Iowa Utilities Board. Updated and improved interconnection standards are “a critical part of moving distributed generation ahead. And having clear, fair and efficient interconnection rules is critical to enabling a healthy distributed generation market,” said Sky Stanfield, an attorney who was involved in negotiating the new standards. The costs of interconnection are among the “soft costs” of solar installation that have not fallen along with the hardware costs of solar panels in recent years.
A bill that would allow utilities to impose additional fees on customers with solar panels is headed to the Missouri Senate after having passed the House by a large margin. Nonetheless, a couple of clean-energy advocates who’ve been lobbying against the bill don’t think it will proceed.
Despite a directive from Iowa’s utility regulator to develop a new tariff likely to foster more distributed generation, one of the state’s largest utilities once again has offered up a plan that appears likely to achieve the opposite.
Electric cooperatives that have taken the plunge into solar energy are the stars of a new website aimed at persuading more co-ops to add solar energy to their mix.
Between efforts at the Capitol building in Lincoln and in city halls across the state, Property Assessed Clean Energy financing appears poised to take off in Nebraska.
One of Nebraska’s largest utilities is scheduled to meet with stakeholders today to begin developing a vision for its first community solar project.
Owners of large commercial and residential buildings will have access in June to a new resource center in Kansas City that is aimed at helping property owners launch energy efficiency projects.
At least 10 municipal utilities in Nebraska have chosen to stop or cut back on buying their power from the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), in search of lower prices and greater access to renewable energy.
Bills before the Nebraska and Kansas legislatures to allow electricity customers to choose their power provider are being viewed with caution, and a little skepticism, by clean-energy promoters in the two states.
Iowa regulators have been asked to reconsider a recent ruling that many renewable-energy supporters fear could seriously impede solar and other forms of clean energy in a large part of the state.