Excerpt from Editorial, “The Bradley Special: A short-term net metering fix” published in the Union Leader:
Sen. Jeb Bradley has a knack for making everyone equally unhappy.
The Wolfeboro Republican is the Legislature’s go-to guy on thorny technical issues such as energy infrastructure siting and workers’ compensation reform.
He usually finds a solution giving both sides what they need, but usually not everything they want.
This week, Bradley unveiled a compromise on net metering that would salvage the program in the short run, and give regulators time to work out a long- term fix.
The current net metering program allows homeowners and businesses with solar cells to sell excess power into the grid. This makes solar more affordable, but also forces utilities to buy high cost electricity, often when demand is low.
Solar companies want to lift the 50 megawatt cap on net metering, which they say is slowing growth of solar power. They are eager for larger commercial facilities to sell solar power at retail rates. In this, they ask for too much.
Eliminating the cap without lowering rates would be a boondoggle, forcing most ratepayers to foot the bill for those who can afford to build solar.
Bradley’s compromise increases the cap to 75 megawatts statewide, and begins development of alternative net metering tariffs to find a more appropriate price for power sold back to utilities.
This is a temporary solution that leaves neither side satisfied. But it would allow modest expansion of net metering.
It’s a Bradley Special. – See more at: http://www.unionleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?avis=UL&date=20160115&category=OPINION01&lopenr=160119458&Ref=AR&template=printart#sthash.45JuLHmt.dpuf