in News Departments > Policy Watch
print the content item

New rules by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that make it easier for small electricity generators such as wind turbines and solar panels to connect to the electric grid were approved by the Legislative Rules Review Committee. The rules will be effective at the end of this month.

The new rules streamline the interconnection process for small generators that produce up to 10 MW of electricity by providing consistent engineering requirements, as well as predictable and reasonable fees and timelines among the state's six investor-owned utilities.

Previously, each utility allowed small generators to connect to its electric distribution system according to company-specific policies that varied from company to company. The statewide rules simplify the process and remove barriers to encourage energy development, particularly renewable energy.

Small generator facilities that produce up to 10 MW of electricity will be able to use standard application forms and legal agreements. Expedited reviews for smaller projects are also part of the new rules.

"Certainly, this is a positive step for wind energy development," says Steve Kolbeck, vice chairman of the PUC. "Energy producers using solar, anaerobic digestion or small combustion turbines will benefit as well. Engineers, operations managers, utility analysts and legal experts familiar with these resources made significant contributions to the development of these rules."

The regulated utilities - Black Hills Power, MidAmerican Energy Co., Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., NorthWestern Energy, Otter Tail Power Co. and Xcel Energy – as well as the Environmental Law & Policy Center had a hand in crafting the rules. Representatives of these companies and PUC staff held negotiations beginning in 2007 that included workshops, reviews of other states’ rules and comments from the distributed generation community.

SOURCE: South Dakota Public Utilities Commission


Trachte Inc._id1770
Latest Top Stories

Utility-Scale Wind And Solar Keep Getting Cheaper

A new study measures the levelized cost of energy from various technologies and suggests that the costs of utility-scale wind and solar power are catching up with those of traditional sources, even without subsidies.


The Song Remains The Same: Ontario Seeks More Science Before Lifting Offshore Ban

The Ontario government says the nearly four-year-old offshore wind moratorium will remain in place until the province fully understands the technology’s impact on the environment.


Why States Should Adopt A Renewable Portfolio Standard

A new study analyzes the potential benefits of state renewable energy mandates, as well as recommends what such policies should include.


Sen. Reid Vows To Bring Wind PTC To A Vote By Year's End

Nevada's senior senator provides some encouragement to wind industry advocates during his annual Clean Energy Summit.


Steadily, Wind Turbine OEMs Resume R&D Investment

An increased commitment to research and development will likely lead to wind energy innovation - not to mention a likely increase in patent-protected technology.

Canwea_id1984
Renewable NRG_id1934
Future Energy_id2008
UnitedEquip_id1995