Solar officials want Mass. production cap lifted – Lowell Sun Online

Here, the commissions own expert witness testified that there was not enough evidence on the record to approve the discriminatory solar charges. Heart said We Energies own study of the costs and benefits of solar energy in its service territory found that the solar customers provide a net benefit to all ratepayers. Unfortunately, the commission, knowing the benefits, still approved fees for these self-generating customer, which was legally improper, Heart said. TASC said this is the third case in the past three years seeking judicial review of a decision of the PSC that discriminates against owners of small distributed renewable energy generating systems. In the previous two cases, the Dane County Circuit Court remanded all or part of the new rates as lacking a factual basis in the administrative record. It is important that we promote and defend Wisconsin renewable energy in all decision-making venues, and in this case that means the courts, said Tyler Huebner, RENEW Wisconsins executive director. A customers own investment in solar and other clean energy technologies benefit everyone, and impartial analysis in multiple states proves that.
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“Rather, we believe it is extremely important that any adjustments to the caps be accompanied by meaningful changes to the mix of incentives and proper consideration of the role of the ratepayers,” Department of Public Utilities chairwoman Angie O’Connor and Department of Energy Resources acting Commissioner Dan Burgess wrote in a net-metering task force report released in late April. “There’s only one wallet in the room, and that’s the customer,” O’Connor, who co-chaired the 17-member task force with Burgess, recently told the News Service. Utilities also oppose lifting the cap, arguing that customers without solar panels end up with higher bills. “If you raise the cap you’re raising the amount of money that customers without net-metering have to pay to support when the other customers are not paying it,” National Grid lobbyist Amy Rabinowitz said in April.
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