Solar project(s) built on local buildings or land at the same location that the energy is consumed.
Some on-site solar installations can produce more electricity than a building can use, in which case excess energy is sold back onto the grid using a “net metering” protocol (unless storage is deployed). States and utilities have differing policies regarding how much customers are compensated for this electricity, and the compensation rate typically has an impact on local on-site solar uptake. In states or utility territories in which net metering is offered, customers receive retail rate credit for their exported generation, which can then offset future usage. Typically, customers can roll over credit for generation not used on-site from month to month during the calendar year. In some states, compensation for energy transferred to the grid can be calculated using other methods. For example, some utilities base their compensation on a “value of solar” calculation, where in other regions a building owner only receives a very small amount set by the local utility, based on the utility’s cost of avoiding the use of other generation (this is known as an “avoided cost” rate). Some states allow municipalities to enter into third-party on-site power purchase agreements, in which they can qualify for the federal Investment Tax Credit.
- Does my state allow for net-metering?
- What is the state limit on the size of PV systems eligible for net metering?
- Which types of customers are eligible for net metering?
- How are residents compensated/credited when they generate more than they use?
- Who owns the Renewable Energy Credits in net metering?
- Does my state allow for third-party power purchase agreements for on-site solar?
- Is there a state cap on the total amount of installed PV capacity eligible for net metering?
- What happens if I have net excess generation at the end of the year?
- Is virtual net-metering available?
SharedRenewablesScorecard.org; SharedRenewables.org; DSIREusa.org; NREL.gov