Net Metering in South Carolina

Net Metering

Only 30 ft tall kicks in at 6mph and at 12mph produces 36kw enough to power 30 average homes

Last Updated January 25, 2016

Program Overview

    • Implementing Sector:

      State

    • Category:

      Regulatory Policy

    • State:

      South Carolina

    • Incentive Type:

      Net Metering

    • Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:

      Geothermal Electric, Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Photovoltaics, Wind (All), Biomass, Hydroelectric, Hydrogen, Combined Heat & Power, Tidal, Wave, Wind (Small), Hydroelectric (Small), Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels

    • Applicable Sectors:

      Commercial, Investor-Owned Utility, Nonprofit, Municipal Utilities, Residential, Cooperative Utilities, Schools, Institutional

    • Applicable Utilities:

      All utilities with more than 100,00 customers, excluding cooperatives.

    • System Capacity Limit:

      20 kW for residential; 1000 kW for non-residential

    • Aggregate Capacity Limit:

      2% of average retail peak demand for previous 5 years

    • Net Excess Generation:

      Credited to customer’s next bill on a monthly basis. Annual pay out to customer at the avoided cost rate zeros out monthly carry-over.

    • Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits:

      Not addressed

    • Meter Aggregation:

      Explicitly prohibited

Summary

In April of 2014 the South Carolina legislature unanimously passed S.B. 1189 to create a voluntary Distributed Energy Resource Program. In March 2015 the Public Utilities Commission approved a settlement agreement among  solar stakeholders detailing how the new net metering mandates laid out in S.B. 1189 would be fulfilled.

The settlement agreement approved by the Public Service Commission stipulates that utilities will offer net energy metering at the full retail rate.. Additionally, no new charges or fees distinctly separate from new net metering rates will be imposed upon customer generators until the expiration of the agreement on January 1, 2021.

The settlement agreement also stipulates that utility-specific distributed energy resources net metering incentive (DER NEM incentive) will be applied to customer-generators receiving service under new net metering tariffs prior to January 1, 2021. Customer-generators whose net energy metering facilities were operational prior to the availability of net energy metering rates approved by the commission under the terms of the settlement agreement may remain in historic net energy metering programs through December 31, 2020.

Eligibility and Availability

Resident net metering customers of independently owned utilities (IOUs) can install renewable systems of 20 kW or less and nonresidential customers can install systems with a cap of the lesser of 100% of demand or 1 MW. Renewable systems are defined as solar photo-voltaic, solar thermal, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, tidal, wave, recycling, biomass, and combined heat and power and hydrogen fuel derived from renewable sources. These systems must be owned, leased, or operated by the customer-generator and must meet all interconnection, performance, safety, and reliability standards established by relevant authorities.

Cooperatives are required by S.B. 1189 to examine net metering policies but are not bound by law to implement new programs.

Net Excess Generation

The utility is responsible for maintaining an account of total electricity produced and consumed. When less electricity is produced than consumed in a month, then the customer-generator pays the difference. When more electricity is produced than consumed in a month, excess kilowatt-hour credits roll over to the next month. Utilities must annually pay out for any excess electric production at the avoided cost rate to zero-out electric bills and re-start the monthly carry-over process. Excess generation credits cannot be used to pay for non-volumetric charges.

Authorities

    • Date Enacted:
      03/20/2015

    • Effective Date:
      03/20/2015

Contact

Memos

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    • 04/03/2015 by Ethan Case

      Entry clarified and updated.

  • 03/18/2015 by Ethan Case

    Settlement agreemet approved; more directive on future NEM tariffs available.

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