The PSC yesterday issued an Order enabling a Community Distributed Generation (CDG) Program that enables electricity customers to own shares of, or subscribe to, a community solar project that is not sited on their property, and receive net-metering credits on their utility bill for their share of the power generated. Here are some of the key provisions of the Order:
- The CDG project can be up to two megawatts in size.
- The project must have a minimum of 10 members, each of which must use at least 1,000 kilowatt hours annually.
- No customer may account for more than 40% of energy produced by the facility.
- The project sponsor must be a business, local government, or non-profit (not a residential customer of the utility).
- As with residential solar, the amount of electricity that is net metered has to be the same or less than the amount actually used by the customers.
- Tenants in multi-tenant buildings are eligible even if tenants do not have their own meters but pay the landlord for their electricity use.
- Until May 1, 2016, the program will prioritize the approval of projects that have a minimum participation of 20% low-income participants or are located in so-called “opportunity zones” where new solar generation will be of special benefit to the grid. (It is worth noting that Central Hudson has identified its entire territory as an opportunity zone.)
- Eligible renewable resources for CDG projects include solar, wind, small hydro, fuel cells, as well as energy generated from farm waste.
CLP is interested in working through the details of CDG projects with prospective project hosts and interested groups. Central Hudson has a form on their website for applying to host a CDG.