- Two new Missouri General Assembly bills could boost the state’s solar industry, Midwest Energy News reports. A state Senate bill would increase the limit on systems eligible for net metering from 100 kW to 1 MW, bringing more commercial-industrial buyers to the solar market.
- A Missouri House of Representatives bill would eliminate the system size cap and allow net metered bill credits to be calculated annually instead of monthly. An annual “true-up” allows solar owners to benefit from excess production in the spring and fall when electricity consumption diminishes more than solar output.
- Solar installers was hit hard in late 2013 when the Missouri Public Service Commission allowed Ameren and Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L), the state’s dominant investor-owned utilities, to suspend rebates. The utilities' now legally-disputed calculation concluded rebate expenditures had reached the state-mandated 1% cap.
Republican State Rep. T.J. Berry wrote the House bill with Missouri solar leaders. He will be able to move legislation in his new role as Chair of the House Select Standing Committee on Utilities but he anticipates resistance from utility allies in the legislature.
The new, annual true-up would be in March, allowing solar owners to earn credits for excess fall and early spring production. Credits would be remunerated at the $0.02 per Kwh avoided cost rate, not the retail electricity rate.
The Missouri PSC is being sued by Save Our Lawfully Authorized Rebates (SOLAR) and the Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE). They argue (1) the state’s renewables mandate requires the utilities to pay solar rebates; (2) Ameren and KCP&L's arguments against paying rebates are based on Integrated Resource Plan assumptions about renewables that wrongly deplete available funds; and (3) the PSC’s validation of the utilities’ rebate cap calculations is “unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious.”
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this post stated that Ameren Missouri and KCP&L are being sued by SOLAR and MCE. That was incorrect. The suit is being brought against the Missouri Public Service Commission to stop it from granting the utilities' requests to end solar rebates in the state. The two utilities have not intervened in the case.