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Long Island Power Authority - Net Metering

Eligibility 
Agricultural
Commercial
Industrial
Institutional
Local Government
Nonprofit
Residential
Schools
State Government
Savings Category 
Fuel Cells
Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels
Photovoltaics
Program Info
State 
New York
Program Type 
Net Metering
Provider 
Long Island Power Authority

: Note: In October 2012 the LIPA Board of Trustees adopted changes to the utility's net metering tariff that permit remote net metering for non-residential solar and wind energy systems, and farm-based biogas and wind energy systems. It also adopted a measure to increase the aggregate net metering cap for solar, agricultural biogas, residential micro-CHP and fuel cells from 51.2 MW to 150 MW. The change in the general aggregate net metering cap does not affect the 15.3 MW cap specific to wind energy systems. Please see the [http://www.lipower.org/pdfs/company/papers/board/100212-metering.pdf full tariff change proposal] for further details.

In August 2012 New York enacted legislation (A.B. 9560) expanding remote net metering to include agricultural and non-residential micro-hydroelectric systems. Though LIPA's net metering policy is not governed by the state net metering law, the provisions are designed to mimic state law. Amendments to state law typically result in equivalent amendments to LIPA's net metering tariff.

In January 2009, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) made significant changes to its net metering policy that extended net metering to non-residential customers; expanded system size limits for residential and farm-service customers; and dramatically increased the capacity limit on overall enrollment. Prior to these revisions, net metering was only available for residential photovoltaic (PV) systems of 11 kW or less, residential wind systems of 27.5 kW or less, and farm-service wind systems of 137.5 kW or less. The rules have been updated multiple times, most recently in October 2012, to remain consistent with the evolving terms of the [http://www.dsireusa.org/library/includes/incentive2.cfm?Incentive_Code=N... New York State net metering law].

Under the most recent revisions, net metering is available for residential, non-residential, and farm-service PV and wind energy systems, farm-service , and residential micro-CHP and fuel cell systems. Eligible systems are subject to the following system capacity limits:
* Residential: Solar and wind systems up to 25 kW, micro-CHP and fuel cell systems from 1 - 10 kW
* Farm-Service: Solar systems up to 25 kW, wind systems up to 500 kW, and anaerobic digester systems up to 1 MW
* Non-residential: Solar and wind energy systems up to 2 MW
Net metering will be made available until overall solar, agricultural biogas, residential micro-CHP and fuel cell system enrollment reaches 150 MW and overall wind enrollment reaches 15.3 MW (0.3% of 2005 peak electric demand) although the utility may expand this limit at its discretion. The 150 MW limit for non-wind systems represents such a change, as the former limit was set at 51.2 MW, or 1% of utility's 2005 peak demand.

Net metering is generally accomplished using a single bi-directional meter, although other arrangements are possible for hybrid systems that combine a solar or wind energy system with an agricultural biogas, micro-CHP, or fuel cell system. For solar, wind, and anaerobic digester systems, net excess generation (NEG) is carried forward from month to month at the customer's retail electricity rate. Excess NEG left over at the end of a 12-month period is purchased by LIPA at the seasonal (winter/summer) avoided cost rates. For residential micro-CHP and fuel cells, NEG is purchased on a monthly basis at the avoided cost rate and any resulting credits carry forward indefinitely.

In October 2012 LIPA adopted tariff changes allowing eligible farm-based and non-residential customer-generators to engage in "remote" net metering of solar, wind, and farm-based biogas systems. The law permits eligible customer-generators to designate net metering credits from equipment located on property which they own or lease to any other meter that is located on property owned or leased by the customer that is within the LIPA service territory and same load zone as the net metered facility. Credits will accrue to the highest use meter first, and as with standard net metering, excess credits may be carried forward from month to month. A change in New York state law enacted in August 2012 extends remote net metering to micro-hydroelectric customer-generators. As LIPA's net metering rules typically replicate state law, further tariff changes reflecting this change may be forthcoming.

Customers on tariffs that include demand charges will only be billed for the measured maximum kW demand ''actually supplied by LIPA'' during the billing period. Ownership of renewable energy credits (RECs) is not addressed in the net metering tariff; however, LIPA retains ownership of any RECs produced by systems that participate in the LIPA solar and wind energy rebate programs.

Residential and farm-service customers that install systems of 27.5 kW or less are not required to pay any interconnection charges. Farm-service customers that install larger systems are responsible for paying 50% of the applicable interconnection expenses, and non-residential customers are responsible for 100% of the cost of interconnection. Additional charges may apply in situations where the interconnection requires a dedicated transformer or additional safety equipment. Such charges are limited to $350 - $5,000 for most systems, but are based on actual costs without a limit for non-residential PV systems.

All net metered systems must comply with the equipment and installation specifications contained in LIPA's Interconnection Guide for Independent Power Producers. These guidelines historically required the installation of a utility accessible external disconnect switch (EDS) for all systems. This contrasts with the [http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=NY02R&re... New York Standard Interconnection Requirements (SIR)] (SIR) for the state's investor-owned utilities, which exempt inverter-based facilities of 25 kW or less from the EDS requirement. In August 2011 New York enacted legislation (A.B. 5525) directing LIPA to conform to this portion of state SIR. LIPA's requirements were subsequently revised. Notably LIPA does not generally require customer-generators to obtain liability insurance for their systems (although they do encourage it). Under certain circumstances, LIPA may require customer-generators to meet additional performance and safety standards, perform additional system tests, or purchase liability insurance beyond that specified in the guide.