DPU Looks At Changes To Standards For Interconnection Of Customer-Owned Rooftop Photovoltaic System – Los Alamos Reporter

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The Department of Public Utilities is looking at changes to standards for interconnection of customer-owned rooftop photovoltaic systems. Photo courtesy LAC

COUNTY NEWS RELEASE

The Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities (DPU) is proposing changes to Rule E-5 under its rules and regulations. Rule E-5 covers standards for interconnection of customer-owned rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems.

The first rooftop PV system that was interconnected to DPU’s electric distribution system was installed in 2003. Ten years later, there were 32 PV interconnections. By the end of 2023, there were 471. This growing demand for interconnection necessitates wording changes to the rule for clarity, as well as one change prompted by technological advancements and movement toward electrification.

The changes include the following.

  • Battery storage and electric vehicle charging and discharging are addressed. They are not mentioned in the current version of Rule E-5.
  • The description of how a single reversible meter measures energy is updated for clarity.
  • Currently, should a PV customer over-produce energy, the credit received for energy supplied to DPU uses the retail rate (0.1282 per kwh) during the calendar year and an annual true-up to bill the customer the difference between the retail rate and the rate allowed by Rule E-5.04. If the rule is approved, interconnected customers will see a credit on their monthly utility bill for all energy supplied to the grid based on the rate included in Rule E-5.04. The proposed change to Rule E-5.04 states that the rate credited to the customer for energy supplied to the utility will be the total capacity and energy cost under the Electric Coordination Agreement (ECA) for a 12-month rolling average, as calculated from the Los Alamos County Resource Pool invoices. For calendar year 2023, this rate averaged $0.0738 per kwh compared to the retail average rate, which was $0.1184 in 2023, for a difference of 0.0446 per kwh.

If approved, additional construction standards for PV installations with and without battery backup will be included in the PV Solar Application Packet.

This item will be presented to the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) for approval on Wednesday, April 17, at 5:30 p.m. DPU is community owned and all BPU meetings are open to the public, who may attend remotely on Zoom or in person in Council Chambers at the Los Alamos County Municipal Building, 1000 Central Ave. Agendas are available online at ladpu.com/BPUMeetings. Click on “Calendar View” for Zoom links.

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