- Mississippi regulators voted unanimously last week to develop net metering and interconnection rules for solar generation, and will take public comment on the issue until July 1.
- The state is one of a handful without net metering laws, and solar advocates have been pressing regulators to develop a framework allowing customers to sell excess power back into the grid.
- A study commissioned by the state and conducted by Synapse Energy Economics last year showed that under nearly every scenario considered, net metering would benefit consumers in the state.
Mississippi is preparing to join 43 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing net metering, and will take comment for the next two and a half months on what stakeholders believe those policies should look like.
“I am bound and determined that the Public Service Commission be active, alert and on the lookout for ways to help Mississippians save money. Net metering is one way to do that,” Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley said in a statement.
Synapse's analysis, delivered to the commission last year, considered a range of scenarios looking at the cost of conventional resources, transmission and distribution, energy and capacity markets, system losses, and other cost points. The study determined that in almost every scenario, net metering would be a benefit to Mississippi consumers
The study looked at the impacts of installing rooftop solar equivalent to 0.5% of the state's historical peak demand. At that level, the report found, distributed solar would decrease revenues for the state's utilities because participants would need to be compensated at a rate beyond the variable retail rate in order to finance solar installations.
Among the report's suggestions, Mississippi should consider Value of Solar Tariffs and other alternative valuations so as not harm the financial health of utility companies.