- A New Hampshire House committee has advanced legislation to expand the state's net metering program, but not before rejecting an amendment that would have limited its impacts.
- Senate Bill 446 would increase the size limit for net metered projects from 1 MW to 5 MW, and includes provisions for some participation from larger facilities. Lawmakers ultimately rejected a bid to lower the rate paid to generators larger than 1 MW for their excess power.
- The New Hampshire Senate passed the legislation in March; it will now head to the full House for a vote.
The proposal to raise the net metering size limits almost ran into trouble, reports NH Business Review. In the House Science, Technology and Energy Committee, the bill was pulled from the consent calendar for a hearing on an amendment to weaken the law.
Rep. Michael Harrington (R) had proposed lowering the rate for projects over 1 MW, but that idea was ultimately rejected.
The state has been debating how to compensate net metered projects for a while, as regulators approved new tariffs updating the compensation scheme last year. But they largely kept the net metering system in place, tweaking the compensation system and eliminating program caps. The bill working its way through the New Hampshire legislature would significantly expand the program.
SB 446 would also open net metering to qualifying facilities larger than 5 MW but less than 25 MW, but the facility's output allocated for net energy metering participation cannot exceed 5 MW. Qualifying facilities could include hydroelectricity, wind, solar, and combined heat and power systems.
The current net metering tariffs apply monthly credits to small solar customers equal to 100% of the value of energy and transmission service, and 25% of distribution service for excess generation sent back to the grid.
An earlier version of the bill would have allowed wood burning generators to participate in net metering, but that provision was removed.