Commonwealth Utilities Corp. acting executive director Alan Fletcher disclosed yesterday that the agency is temporarily suspending new applications for its net metering program due to the agency's current backlog on applications.
Fletcher said the suspension will remain in effect until all applications are processed and further grid stability analysis is completed.
According to Fletcher, the current project and applications now total 2.4 megawatts. This amount, coupled with the 4MW to 6MW that the utilities firm is currently negotiating, resulted in CUC achieving 30 percent penetration of its low peak load.
Fletcher said that current installations and pending applications for the popular net-metering program are not affected-only a new applications.
Fletcher explains that CUC's electrical power systems can only accept so much penetration from net-metering customers and CUC may have already hit the threshold for overall grid stability.
“We intend to take a careful look at the system using computerized modeling software to determine if there are control areas that can accept more solar penetration,” he said yesterday, adding that it is important for consumers to know that halting new applications does not stop a home or business from installing solar panels for onsite generation.
Only the ability to interconnect to the CUC power grid for selling back power is affected, according to Fletcher.
Net metering is an electricity policy for consumers who own renewable energy facilities. Under the net metering program, a system owner receives retail credit for at least a portion of the electricity they generate.