Denver, CO, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — March 28, 2007
A bill has been passed by the House in the state of Colorado aimed at enabling customers of electricity cooperative associations to participate in net metering activities.
The state has had net metering rules in place since 2004, as part of its goal of achieving a 10 percent renewable energy generation capacity by 2015, but under the current law the cooperatives can prohibit their customers from net metering.
In terms of the new bill net metering will be permitted for customers with generators up to 500 kW of cooperatives with up to 10,000 retail meters, for customers with generators up to 1 MW of cooperatives with between 10,000 and 40,000 retail meters, and for customers with generators up to 2 MW of cooperatives with more than 40,000 retail meters, and provided that the rated capacity of the generator does not exceed the customer’s service entry capacity.
In order to facilitate net metering if the customer’s meter does not meet the measurement requirements, i.e. of bidirectional electricity flow measurement, the cooperative will be required to install and maintain a suitable meter, at the customer’s expense. And the cooperative will credit the customer at the full retail rate for each kilowatthour of electricity generated, up to the total amount of electricity used by that customer during the year.
Permitted generation sources for the program include solar, wind, geothermal, biomass or hydropower, as well as fuel cells using hydrogen derived from biomass sources.
The aim of the bill is to further develop and utilize the state’s renewable energy resources as well as to simplify and standardize the metering, billing, and interconnection procedures for grid-tied renewable electricity generation.
The net metering capacity is also being capped and cooperatives will not be required to register additional generating capacity once the net metered capacity reaches one percent of the cooperative’s monthly peak demand in the years 2007 and 2008, three percent in 2009 and 2010, and five percent thereafter. Moreover no single net metered customer’s generator system shall comprise more than 20 percent of these caps.
“Colorado has the best natural resources to harvest renewable energy, and it’s time to take the lead by taking advantage of our environment,” House representative and prime sponsor of the bill Judith Solano was quoted as saying.
The bill now goes before the state Senate and is expected to come into force in August 2007.