KY PSC to Allow More Time for Comments on Net-Metering

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   September 11, 2019  /   Posted in Net Metering, Uncategorized  /   No Comments

State to Allow More Time for Comments on Net-Metering

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has extended the time for comments on the implementation of a recent law that will change the way in which Kentucky electric utility customers receive credit for electricity they generate from solar panels and other renewable sources.

In an order issued last week, the PSC granted a request by Kentuckians for the Commonwealth to allow more time for comments and to postpone a planned hearing in the case.

Written comments in the proceeding now are due by October 15, twenty-five days later than the original deadline.

The PSC hearing to receive comments in person will be held at 9 a.m. EST on November 13 at the PSC offices in Frankfort, six weeks later than the original date.

The case was established in July to gather information that would be useful in future rate cases that will determine net metering rates for electric utilities. The PSC will make no decisions on net metering rates in this proceeding.

The Kentucky General Assembly earlier this year passed and Gov. Matthew Bevin signed into law a bill that changes the way utilities will credit retail customers who generate electricity from renewable sources, primarily solar panels.

Under the new law, net metered customers will receive dollar credits at a compensation rate set by the PSC in rate proceedings for each utility, with the compensation amount for each billing period subtracted from the total bill for that period. The new law states that an electric utility is “entitled to implement rates to recover from its eligible (net metering customers) all costs necessary to serve” those customers, independent of the rate structure for all other customers.

The original net metering statute provided credits at the full retail rate, using a bi-directional meter that reflected whether a customer was producing more or less electricity than was being used. The customer bill reflected the net usage.

The new law takes effect on January 1, 2020. After that date, utilities may file applications with the PSC to implement new net metering rates. The new rates will take effect only after receiving PSC approval.

Homes and businesses which began receiving net metering service under the prior statute and rates will continue to do so for 25 years from the date at which net metering began. The 25-year period will not be affected if the property is sold.

Investor-owned electric utilities – Duke Energy Kentucky, Kentucky Power Co., Kentucky Utilities Co., Louisville Gas & Electric Co. – will have to file individually to adjust their net metering rates. Kentucky’s two generation and transmission cooperatives – Big Rivers Electric Corp. and East Kentucky Power Cooperative – may file on behalf of one or more of their distribution cooperatives or distribution cooperatives may file individual applications.

In the order establishing the case, the PSC said it will use the comments to develop a record that will be incorporated into the initial rate proceedings filed by utilities. The final order in this case will include a report summarizing the information received.

Each utility’s new net metering rate will be established based on its particular circumstances, considering both the evidence in each case and the record of the current proceeding.

All comments should cite the case number and include the commenter’s name and address. The case number is 2019-00256.

KYSEIA urges customers, advocates to submit comments to KYPSC on net metering

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   August 29, 2019  /   Posted in Net Metering, solar  /   No Comments

KYSEIA Logo

KY SEIA

KYSEIA The Kentucky Solar Industries Association

Tell Kentucky Policymakers To Protect Solar Energy

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE     Aug. 26, 2019                        

MEDIA CONTACT:

Carla Blanton

carlablantonconsulting@gmail.com

 859-608-4850                                        

Kentucky solar industry urges customers, advocates to submit comments to PSC on net metering

    

FRANKFORT – The Kentucky Solar Industries Association (KYSEIA) today urged solar customers and advocates to submit comments on net metering to the Kentucky Public Service Commission (KYPSC).

With the passage of Senate Bill 100 during the 2019 legislative session, new solar customers are no longer guaranteed a one-to-one credit for excess solar power generation they send back to the grid – a process called net metering. The law directs the Public Service Commission to decide how much credit these solar customers receive for their power. That amount can change with each new rate case.

The KYPSC put out a request for written comments, which are due Sept. 20, and scheduled a public hearing on Oct. 1 as it determines how SB 100 should be implemented.

Comments can be emailed to psc.info@ky.gov. All emails should have case number 2019-00256 in the subject line and the customer’s full name and home address in the body of the email.  

“Senate Bill 100 creates new red tape for Kentucky homeowners and businesses seeking to use solar energy,” said Matt Partymiller, president of the association and co-owner of Solar Energy Solutions, which is based in Lexington. “This next step in the process is the best way to mitigate the negative impact of the new law. We urge people to contact the PSC to make their voices heard.

“The PSC still has the opportunity to support the small businesses, homeowners, farmers and churches who want to choose solar power. It can accomplish this through setting a fair rate based on the true value of solar energy. The PSC also should allow a solar representative to intervene in future rate cases. The large monopoly utilities shouldn’t be the only industry voice represented at those hearings.”

Partymiller added the smaller-scale solar projects that use net metering are done mostly by small, locally owned and operated businesses.

“Onerous regulations and unfair rates for future net metering customers not only threatens Kentuckians’ ability to choose how they get their power, it also hurts solar industry jobs, which are the fastest growing occupation in the United States,” he said.

###

 The Kentucky Solar Industries Association represents businesses involved in the nation’s leader in new power generation -- the solar industry. KYSEIA’s objective is to provide leadership and promote sound policy in the Commonwealth as our power sector enters the solar-age. KYSEIA understands that free market policies pursued over the past two decades are revolutionizing the nation’s power grid and creating more affordable energy. KYSEIA wants to ensure lower cost energy is available for all and ensure that all can participate in the benefits of solar growth in the Commonwealth.

Formed in 2017, KYSEIA members coalesced to ensure private citizens had continued access to Kentucky’s electric grid via Kentucky’s net-metering statute. KYSEIA unites businesses across the solar vertical including the contractors responsible for building solar arrays, the developers creating new power plants, the manufacturers crafting innovative products, and the many businesses that support the industry.

 


KYPSC Order available at
https://psc.ky.gov/pscscf/2019%20Cases/2019-00256//20190730_PSC_ORDER.pdf

Case at:
https://psc.ky.gov/PSC_WebNet/ViewCaseFilings.aspx?Case=2019-00256

 

Completed Legislative Action
Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 2-0)
Status: Passed on March 26 2019 - 100% progression
Action: 2019-03-26 - signed by Governor (KY Acts ch. 101)
Text: Latest bill text (Engrossed) [PDF]

 

Summary

Amend KRS 278.465 to increase the maximum capacity for an eligible electric generating facility to 45 kilowatts and to redefine "net metering"; amend KRS 278.466 to require the Public Service Commission to set the compensation rate for eligible customer-generators according to the ratemaking process in KRS Chapter 278; specify that the ratemaking process to set the amount of compensation for electricity produced by eligible customer-generators be initiated by a retail electric supplier or generation and transmission cooperative on behalf of one or more retail electric suppliers; prohibit eligible customer-generators who close their net metering accounts from receiving any cash refund for accumulated excess generation credits; require the net metering tariff provisions for eligible customer-generators in place when they started taking net metering service to remain in effect for 25-years for eligible generating facilities, including the one-to-one kilowatt-hour denominated credit provided for electricity fed into the grid; specify that eligible customer-generators shall be subject to all changes in energy rates, rate structures, and monthly charges as nonparticipating customers during that 25 year period; specify that eligible customer-generator installations are transferable to other persons at the same premises; amend KRS 278.467 to conform; EFFECTIVE January 1, 2020.

 

3 Duke Energy Indiana Rate Increase Field Hearings–Carmel, Terre Haute and New Albany

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   August 22, 2019  /   Posted in Duke Energy, Uncategorized  /   No Comments

Duke field hearings

Duke Energy proposes a 19% rate increase for residential electricity customers

 

Emily Hopkins and Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star Published 11:29 a.m. ET July 2, 2019 | Updated 11:35 a.m. ET July 2, 2019

Duke Energy is asking to hike residential electricity bills by about $23 a month, its first appeal to state regulators for such action in nearly two decades.

The largest electric utility in the state of Indiana filed its request with the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission Tuesday morning. It is asking to increase its annual revenue by approximately $395 million.

This story will be updated.

The proposed increase is driven by investments to serve a growing customer base, generate cleaner electricity and improve the reliability of electric service, according to a Duke Energy press release.

Rates for all customer groups would increase by about 15% if the proposal is approved. Residential customers would see an increase of about 19%, or about an additional $276 per year.

Consumer advocates balked at the increase.

"We are not sure where Duke Energy thinks many residents will find an extra $23 a month," said Kerwin Olson of the Citizens Action Coalition. "In our view they are taking food off people’s tables with these increases, and why? Is Duke Energy under-earning? Are they not collecting enough money?"

That is a question that Olson, state utility regulators, and the Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, which represents ratepayer interests, will be trying to answer.

Duke's future plans for coal plants

Duke's rate case filing comes days after the filing of their latest integrated resource plan, which lays out how the utility expects it will generate electricity over the next 20 years.

New projections in the plan suggest retiring seven coal-fired units a combined 61 years earlier in order to diversify their generation in the face of potential regulation of carbon dioxide emissions and the decreasing cost of renewable energy technology.

About 90 percent of the power Duke produced in Indiana in 2018 was coal-fired. The utility intends to supplement the retired coal-fired capacity primarily with natural gas mixed with some wind and solar energy.

However, several critics point out that Duke's projections for the future are "sorely lacking" in renewable energy and battery storage. The combination of solar and wind Duke said it expects to add by 2037 is less than the installed capacity of its current coal-fired Gibson plant.

"So you are talking about a sliver of their system," said Grant Smith, senior energy policy adviser with the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Environmental Working Group. "They are essentially replacing coal with natural gas and keeping wind and solar on the fringes."

Duke says natural gas works to replace coal

Advocates say they are also perplexed by Duke's decision to request approval for the construction of a large natural gas plant months after a similar proposal by Vectren was rejected by state regulators.

Last year, Vectren proposed replacing part of its 100% coal-fired generation with a large natural gas plant. But the petition was struck down by state regulators, who said there was a "lack of evidence" that Vectren "made a serious effort to determine the price and availability of renewables."

The commission further cited the potential financial risk to customers who would be saddled with paying for the plant over a 30-year period during a time when the energy industry continues to rapidly evolve.

Vectren's plant would have provided 850 megawatts of natural gas power to its customers. Duke is asking for a 1,240 megawatt plant.

Since the rejection, Vectren has opened an all-source request for proposals to examine the viability of alternative energy mixes.

Duke's announcement also comes just under a year after NIPSCO, a northern Indiana utility, announced its intentions to retire all its coal plants in favor of renewable energy. NIPSCO's plan projects that more than half of the electricity it produces will come from wind, solar and battery storage by 2023.

The majority of Duke's retirements coal-fired plant retirements are slated for 2028 or later.

Coal-to-gas plant would become part of customers' base rate

Also included in the rate case would be a change in how ratepayers pay for Duke's controversial coal-to-gas plant in Knox County. The Edwardsport project was nearly $2 billion overbudget and has underperformed since it first opened in 2013, having repeated outages and costly repairs.

Currently, the average Duke Energy customer pays about $14 per month for the Edwardsport plant in their monthly bill through a "tracker," which allows a utility to recover costs outside of the rigorous regulatory process involved in a rate case.

Now, Duke is looking to incorporate nearly $100 million each year for operations and maintenance on the plant as part of its rate base. To do that, the utility must convince state regulators that the project is useful and in the public interest, not the expensive boondoggle that many view it to be.

Emily Hopkins and Sarah Bowman cover the environment for IndyStar. Contact Emily at (317) 444-6409 or emily.hopkins@indystar.com. Follow them on Twitter: @_thetextfiles. Call Sarah at (317) 444-6129. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @IndyStarSarah.

IndyStar's environmental reporting project is made possible through the generous support of the nonprofit Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust.


Documents you may wish to review about the Duke Energy Indiana rate increase request (Cause No. 45253)

45253 DEI Verified Petition 070219 (1)

45253 - DEI - Direct Testimony of Stan C Pinegar 070219 Stan Pinegar is the President of Duke Energy Indiana.

45253 - DEI - Direct Testimony of Andrew S. Ritch 070219 (1) Andrew Ritch discusses their proposed renewable energy projects.

Summary of proposed Duke Energy Indiana rate increases by customer class.

DEI rate increase table

If you are interested in more details, please see this six-page summary:

Duke Rate Case -- Index of Issues and Requests

USDA Announces Indiana REAP Grants

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   August 22, 2019  /   Posted in Uncategorized  /   No Comments

USDA logo

USDA Invests in Energy Efficiency Improvements and Renewable Energy Systems to Help Farmers, Rural Businesses and Ag Producers Lower Energy Costs

(INDIANAPOLIS) – Rural Development State Director for Indiana Michael Dora today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding 18 grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for projects throughout Indiana to reduce energy costs for farmers, ag producers, and rural-based businesses and institutions.

“USDA is committed to increasing economic development in Indiana’s rural communities,” said Dora. “The projects will use federal funds to help lower energy costs and improve the business’ bottom line.”

Dora’s announcement is in coordination with Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Bette Brand’s announcement that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is awarding $9.3 million in grants for projects in 49 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to reduce energy costs. Congress appropriated $50 million for REAP grants and loan guarantees in the fiscal year 2019. USDA will make additional funding announcements in the REAP program in coming weeks.

Recipients can use REAP funding for a variety of needs, such as conducting energy audits and installing renewable energy systems such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower and solar.  Funds also can be used to make energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration. Listed below are a few examples of how farmers, rural business owners, and institutions are making investments in their operations through REAP.

The 18 successful recipients in Indiana are:

  • Adams Swine Farms, LLC in Berne will use a $15,318 grant to purchase and install a grain dryer. The farm is a family-owned farming corporation that raises swine. This project is expected to lower the farm’s electricity costs by $5,132 annually.
  • JS Farms, Inc. in Delphi will use a $20,000 grant to purchase and install a grain dryer. The farm is a family-owned grain farming corporation.  This project is expected to lower the farm’s electricity costs by $4,992 annually. The energy saved is enough to power 20 homes for a year.
  • Darrel G. Erb, operates a family farm that raises oilseed and grain in Francisville, will use a $12,441grant to purchase and install a grain dryer. This project is expected to lower the farm’s energy costs by $6,840 annually. The energy saved is enough to power 13 homes for a year.
  • Home Sweet Home Properties, LLC in Mount Vernon will use a $1,669 grant to purchase and install LED lighting throughout the building.  Home Sweet Home Properties, LLC is a small business that leases commercial buildings with leased office space to tenants for commercial uses. This project is expected to lower the business’ energy costs by $2,406 annually.
  • Home Sweet Home Properties, LLC in Mount Vernon will use a $14,109 grant to purchase and install a 22-kW solar array.  Home Sweet Home Properties, LLC is a small business that leases commercial buildings with leased office space to tenants for commercial uses. This project is expected to lower the business’ energy costs by $4,128 annually. The energy saved is enough to power three homes for a year.
  • East-Terra Hardware Supply, LLC (dba East-Terra Plastics) in Fayette County will use a $13,429 grant to replace mercury vapor lighting with high-efficiency LEDs. Established in 2016, East-Terra Plastics recycles post-consumer and post-industrial plastics. This project is expected to lower the business’ energy costs by $10,832 annually. The energy saved is enough to power ten homes for a year.
  • Bowman & Bowman Farms, Inc. in Waterloo will use a $20,000 grant to purchase and install a 37-kW solar array. This project is expected to lower the farm’s energy costs by $8,475 annually. The energy saved is enough to power four homes for a year.
  • Chalfant Farms, Inc. in Randolph County will use a $10,500 grant to purchase and install an 18-kW solar array. The farm is a family-owned farm. This project is expected to lower the farm’s energy costs by $2,867 annually.
  • D&D Electric in Etna Green will use a $14,750 grant to purchase and install a 28-kW solar array.  D&D Electric is a family-owned business. This project is expected to lower the business’ energy costs by $4,282 annually. The energy saved is enough to power three homes for a year.
  • Steven Doerner, operates a family-owned farm in Oakland City, will use an $8.082 grant to purchase and install an 18.2-kW solar array. This project is expected to lower the farm’s energy costs by $3,483 annually.
  • F & K Construction a rural small business in Flora will use a $20,000 grant to purchase and install a 56-kW solar array. This project is expected to lower the business’ energy costs by $8,169 annually. The energy saved is enough to power seven homes per year.
  • Furrer Crop Farms, a family-owned farm in Wolcott, will use a $20,000 grant to purchase and install a 37-kW solar array. This project is expected to lower the farm’s energy costs by $7,611 annually.
  • Hiatt M & B Farms, LLC, a family-owned farm located in Randolph County, will use a $10,481 grant to purchase and install a 33-kW solar array. This project is expected to lower the farm’s energy costs by $3,773 annually.
  • Daniel K. Larney, a farmer in Gibson County, will use a $3,024 grant to purchase and install an 8-k solar array. This project is expected to lower the farm’s energy costs by $1,315 annually.
  • Pamela Milhollin, an agricultural producer who operates a family-owned farm located in rural Randolph County, will use a $7,306 grant to purchase and install an 18-kW solar array. This project is expected to lower the farm’s energy costs by $2,054 annually.
  • N&L Pork, Inc., a woman-owned business in Knox, will use a $20,000 grant to purchase and install an 111-kW solar array.  This project is expected to lower the business’ energy costs by $15,017 annually. The energy saved is enough to power 14 homes a year.
  • Premier Roofing & Construction, LLC in Nappanee will use a $14,476 grant to purchase and install a 12-kW solar array. This project is expected to lower the business’ energy costs by $8,175 annually.
  • Treat’s Squire Shop a rural small business in Plymouth will use a $1,500 grant to purchase and install LED lighting. The project is expected to lower the business’ energy costs by $4,081 annually. The energy saved is enough to power 5 homes a year.

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Supporting the rural workforce was a cornerstone recommendation of the task force.

To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

21st Century Energy Policy Development Task Force 8/26/19 Agenda

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   August 21, 2019  /   Posted in 2018 Indiana General Assembly, 2019 Indiana General Assembly, Uncategorized  /   No Comments

21st Century Energy Policy Development Task Force

Rep. Edmond Soliday (R-Valpariso), Co Chair

Sen. Eric Koch (R-Bedford), Co Chair

Sen. James Merritt (R-Indianapolis)

Sen. David Niezgodski (D-South Bend)

Sen. Mark Stoops (D-Bloomington)

Rep. Ryan Hatfield (D-Evansville)

Rep. Ethan Manning (R-Denver)

Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington)

J.P. Carvallo

William Fine

John Graham

Kay Pashos

Philip Powell

Wallace Tyner (recently deceased, should be replaced by Gov. Holcomb)

Donna Walker

Authority: IC 2-5-45

MEETING AGENDA

 

Date: August 26, 2019

Time: 10:00 AM

Place: State House, 200 W. Washington St., House Chamber

City: Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 Meeting Number: 1

WATCH LIVE

http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2019/meeting/watchlive/15672071-f1f3-43d7-8ced-2731e5ae740c/

(1)   10:00 a.m.-2:45 p.m.: Desired Outcomes and Issues

 

(A)  Task Force members (10:00-10:30 a.m.)

(B)  Industry representatives (10: 30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.)

  • 10:30 a.m.: Indiana Energy Association (IEA)
  • 10:45 a.m.: Indiana Municipal Power Agency (IMPA)
  • 11:00 a.m.: Indiana Electric Cooperatives
  • 11:15 a.m.: Indiana Coal Council
  • 11:30 a.m.: Renewable energy interests
  • 11:45 a.m.: American Petroleum Institute

12:00-1:00 p.m.: Lunch

 

(C)  Consumer representatives (1:00-2:15 p.m.)

  • 1:00 p.m.: Indiana Industrial Energy Consumers, Inc. (INDIEC)
  • 1:15 p.m.: Citizens Action Coalition (CAC)
  • 1:30 p.m.: Indiana Chamber of Commerce
  • 1:45 p.m.: NAACP
  • 2:00 p.m.: Hoosier Environmental Council

(D)  Regulators (2:15-2:45 p.m.)

  • 2:15 p.m.: Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC)
  • 2:30 p.m.: Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM)

(2)  2:45-3:45 p.m.: Roles and Responsibilities

 

(A) IURC (2:45-3:00 p.m.)

(B)   Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC); North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) (3:00-3:15 p.m.)

(C)     PJM Interconnection (3:15-3:30 p.m.)

(D)   Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) (3:30-3:45 p.m.)

(3)  3:45 p.m.: Public Testimony

 

** All times listed above include time for questions and comments by Task Force members.**

** Times allotted are subject to change at the discretion of the Co-Chairmen.**

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