CO: Solar-power policy generates outragegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
Friday, April 27, 2001 - It's a sad fact of life that some homeowners steal electricity from the power company. But Mark Patton finds it a baffling fact of life that the power company can steal electricity from homeowners like him - and get away with it. Patton added solar panels on his roof in Arapahoe County, and the panels generate electricity. On a warm, sunny day like Thursday, his system generates 1,500 watts of energy, while his house uses only 500 watts.
Electricity works like a swinging door - when Patton pushes harder on his side by generating more electricity than he needs, the power flow goes away from his home instead of toward it. Patton's extra power goes out to the grid owned by Intermountain Rural Electric Association, and the power company sells it to Patton's neighbors.
Patton gets no credit for being his own little power plant. In fact, when he put in his solar system, Intermountain came out to his house and replaced the standard meter with one that couldn't lower his bill by running backward.
. . .
Discouragement from power companies is forcing some homeowners to employ "guerrilla solar," Patton said. They hook up a solar unit to an existing home meter that does run backward, and they get credit for their generation without ever telling the power company.
-- spider (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 27, 2001
Some states are requiring "intertie" and credits for solar as part of deregulation. N. J. is one of them.
-- K (email@example.com), April 27, 2001.
I'm surprised Colorado isn't more enlightened. Quite a few states, including Maine, have reciprocal agreements with home power generators. I know of at least two, one a PV array on a house in Wells and the other a wind generator in Madawaska.
-- Cash (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 27, 2001.