New York DPS Authorizes Implementation Plan For Opt-Out Community Solar Pilot At Municipal Aggregation
September 15, 2020 Email This Story Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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Joule Community Power announced that the New York State Department of Public Service (DPS) has approved implementation of an opt-out community solar pilot in the Villages of Brockport and Lima, NY, as a component of Joule's Finger Lakes municipal aggregation program
The PSC had previously authorized Joule's aggregation to utilize opt-out enrollment for community solar, but such approval was contingent on Staff review of the implementation plan
Joule Community Power stated, "Until the approval of the pilot by DPS, those wishing to enroll in a community solar program were required to undergo a soft credit check, sign a contract with a community distributed generation (or 'CDG') provider, and pay separately for the solar credits. Therefore, before opt-out community solar, subscribers would pay a reduced monthly utility bill as well as a second bill from the solar CDG project developer for their discounted solar credits that lowered their utility bill."
"With the launch of the pilot in Brockport and Lima, however, the municipalities sign a community-level agreement with the solar project developer on behalf of their residents and businesses, enabling eligible account holders to be automatically enrolled in the program with any credits or charges to be accounted for in the consumer's National Grid electricity bill. National Grid will continue to deliver electricity to all residents and remains responsible for repairs, maintenance, and service. Residents can opt-out of the program at any time with no penalty, but would lose the guaranteed 10% price reductions on the solar bill credits that lower their annual electricity costs," Joule Community Power stated
Under the approved implementation plan, CDG Program Customers within Participating Municipalities will collectively serve as the subscriber base for selected CDG projects within Niagara Mohawk service territory. Each subscriber will be individually allocated CDG Credits from those accumulated at the host meter(s). Pursuant to CDG regulation, each individual subscriber will be allocated CDG Credits as a percentage of project production that equate to at least 1,000 kWh annually, and no Program Customer may be a member of more than one CDG project. Allocation requests will be made up to 60 days before the Credits are applied to subscribers’ bills. Periodic re-allocation may be necessary to manage subscriber churn. Should regulations change in the future, Participating Municipalities may amend policies consistent with prevailing paradigms.
SC1 and SC2 customers are eligible for opt-out treatment with the exception of those:
a. with an active onsite or remote net metering account.
b. already subscribed to a CDG project.
c. with a customer-initiated block.
d. otherwise deemed ineligible for CDG enrollment in accordance with applicable regulations.
CDG Sponsors will offer CDG Credits to subscribers at a maximum of 95% of their monetary value, or a minimum 5% discount on the portion of the bill covered by CDG Credits. National Grid will apply only the net credit value (i.e., the discount amount) to subscribers’ bills. This net discount will reduce subscribers’ billed amount in each month that the CDG project is operational.