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

Report Disputes U.S. Agency's Renewable Energy Projections

A new analysis from the Sun Day Campaign says renewables are slated to provide 16% of U.S. generating capacity by 2018 - over 20 years earlier than forecast by the Energy Information Administration.


Kansas Renewables Mandate Survives Yet Another Attack, But Is It Too Early To Celebrate?

Over the past three years, some legislators have tried to either weaken or repeal the state's renewable portfolio standard, which requires Kansas utilities to reach 20% renewables by 2020.


AWEA Highlights U.S. Wind Success Stories Of 2013

Despite a 92% drop in new capacity last year, the sector still has myriad reasons to celebrate, according to a new report from the American Wind Energy Association.


Feds List New Bird Species As Threatened - Should Wind Developers Be Worried?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is designating the lesser prairie-chicken as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. An expert explains how this might affect the wind industry.


Senate Committee Passes Bill With Two-Year PTC Extension

The Senate Finance Committee has voted on a tax extenders package, which includes both the production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit, and sent it to the floor.

JLG_id1900
UEA_id1896
WomenofWind_id
Acciona_id1907
AWEA_id1886
bonfiglioli_id1913