LIPA Net Meter Successor Agreement Reached
Dec 16, 2021
by Christine Lee
For nearly two decades, behind-the-meter solar power systems used a system called net metering, which credited any solar kilowatt-hour exports to the grid one-for-one against consumption. Over the past five years in New York State, key stakeholders have been working to develop a “successor” compensation system. First came programs for commercial, industrial, and community solar systems based on the “value of distributed generation resources” (VDER). Starting January 1, 2022, a new program commences that will add a minimum connection charge to new residential solar power systems at different levels across New York State, referred to as the Customer Benefit Contribution (CBC) Charge.
The proposed plan includes promoting Time of Day (TOD) rates, which allow customers to save money by banking solar energy in batteries during off-peak hours and self-consuming and/or exporting that energy during peak high-cost hours. At the same time, TOD rates benefit grid operations by using price signals to reduce demand during peak hours. Incentives for solar + battery purchases and a phased-in CBC Charge are also included in this roadmap.
Over the past several months a broad coalition including David G. Schieren, EmPower Solar CEO and Board President of the New York State Solar Energy Industry Association (NYSEIA), Tara McDermott, EmPower Solar Director of Stakeholder Relations and Chair of NYSEIA Long Island, industry colleagues, elected government representatives and other key stakeholders have worked with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and the NYS Public Service Commission (PSC) to develop an equitable plan that continues to accelerate the growth of solar on Long Island and work towards Governor Hochul’s 10 gigawatts by 2030 goal.
LIPA + NYSEIA
- Joint LIPA + NYSEIA working group established to identify strategic pathways to accelerate solar and battery systems that also benefit all ratepayers and help modernize the electric grid.
- Key focus on driving time of day electric rate adoption that will add financial returns for solar and battery owners and deliver grid benefits.
- Three Year phase-in of the CBC charges, starting at $.30/kW per month
- Extension of residential battery storage rebate program.
Rest of State
We are expecting a NYSERDA and PSC white paper this Friday, Dec 17th that will propose a forward plan regarding solar incentives and compensation programs for the rest of New York State, including Con Edison territory. A known key priority is to make it easier to install battery systems in New York City.
It is also critical to follow the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) proceeding to see the precise mechanisms that will be used to enforce compliance with 70% renewable electricity by 2030, 100% renewable electricity by 2040, and 100% economy-wide renewable energy by 2050, including transportation.
While there is much work to do, we are excited to enter the next phase of solar and battery storage growth predicated on market forces of supply and demand that will be a win-win for all stakeholders.
Further details can be found in the official LIPA and NYSEIA joint press release.