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Planning Bd Hearing 1/13/2016 - Warrant Article re: Solar Arrays (Revised)
Enfield Energy Committee
Submittal to the 2016 Enfield Town Warrant
REVISED January 4, 2016
Posted January 6, 2016 for Public Hearing January 13, 2016
Community Net Metered Solar Arrays
The Town, through State RSA: 672:1; III, supports and encourages the development of renewable energy systems.  The purpose of this article is to introduce definitions and to provide appropriate rules for the regulation of community net metered solar arrays as allowed per RSA 362-A: 9 IV.
Community net metered solar arrays allow multiple electric rate payers without solar access to share a single site with good solar access in order to offset their electric use through the mechanism of community solar metering. Just as a community garden allows people without access to good garden a space to share a site and grow their own food, community solar extends the production of renewable energy, so people without solar can access their own electricity.
Shall the Town vote to approve the following addition to the Enfield Zoning Ordinance:
Add the following Definitions to Appendix A – Land Use Definitions:
“solar array, net metered” – a ground or roof mounted array whose generated electricity is used to offset a rate payer’s on-site  electrical usage.
“solar array, community net metered” - a ground or roof mounted array whose generated electricity is used to offset that of a community of meters as defined in the NH Public Utilities Commission group net metering rule  RSA 362-A:9 XIV.
Add the following use to Article IV – Regulation of Uses
421 Community Net Metered Solar Arrays
In order to mitigate the impact of community net metered solar arrays on neighbors and to protect public safety and welfare:
  • Roof and~ground mounted community net metered solar arrays shall be permitted by special exception in accordance with Section 504, Special Exceptions of the Zoning Ordinance, in the following districts:  Community Business CB, Rte 4 (by right 100 ft setback),  Rural Residential  R3, Rural Residential Agricultural R5, and Commercial/Industrial C/I.
  • Community net metered solar arrays shall not be a permitted use in the following districts: R1, Conservation C and the parcels shown in the Enfield Village National Historic Register District.
RSA: 672:1; III-a. Proper regulations encourage energy efficient patterns of development, the use of solar energy, including adequate access to direct sunlight for solar energy uses, and the use of other renewable forms of energy, and energy conservation. Therefore, the installation of solar, wind, or other renewable energy systems or the building of structures that facilitate the collection of renewable energy shall not be unreasonably limited by use of municipal zoning powers or by the unreasonable interpretation of such powers except where necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare;

In appropriate cases and subject to appropriate conditions and safeguards listed in Section 403, (special exceptions allowed in each  district) the Zoning Board of Adjustment has the power to hear and decide applications of exception as provided for in this Ordinance.  In acting upon an application for exception, the Zoning Board shall take into consideration the appropriateness of the specific location for the proposed use and its probable effect upon the district as a whole, its wildlife, soil, streams and ponds, forests, and other recreational and environmental qualities.  It shall permit the exception only when it finds that, in view of these considerations, it is consistent with the spirit of the Ordinance to do so.

Section 362-A: 9
~~~~362-A: 9 Net Energy Metering. –~
~~~ I. Standard tariffs providing for net energy metering shall be made available to eligible customer-generators by each electric distribution utility in conformance with net metering rules adopted and orders issued by the commission. Each net energy metering tariff shall be identical, with respect to rates, rate structure, and charges, to the tariff under which a customer-generator would otherwise take default generation supply service from the distribution utility. Such tariffs shall be available on a first-come, first-served basis within each electric utility service area under the jurisdiction of the commission until such time as the total rated generating capacity owned or operated by eligible customer-generators totals a number equal to 50 megawatts multiplied by each such utility's percentage share of the total 2010 annual coincident peak energy demand distributed by all such utilities as determined by the commission. No more than 4 megawatts of such total rated generating capacity shall be from a combined heat and power system as defined in RSA 362-A:1-a, I-d.~
~~~ II. Competitive electricity suppliers registered under RSA 374-F:7 may determine the terms, conditions, and prices under which they agree to provide generation supply to and purchase net generation output from eligible customer-generators.~
~~~ III. Metering shall be done in accordance with normal metering practices. A single net meter that shows the customer's net energy usage by measuring both the inflow and outflow of electricity internally shall be the extent of metering that is required at facilities with a total peak generating capacity of not more than 100 kilowatts. A bi-directional metering system that records the total amount of electricity that flows in each direction from the customer premises, either instantaneously or over intervals of an hour or less, shall be required at facilities with a total peak generating capacity of more than 100 kilowatts. Customer-generators shall not be required to pay for the installation of net meters, but shall pay for the installation of all bi-directional metering systems as outlined in utility interconnection tariffs or rules.~
~~~ IV. (a) For facilities with a total peak generating capacity of not more than 100 kilowatts, when billing a customer-generator under a net energy metering tariff that is not time-based, the utility shall apply the customer's net energy usage when calculating all charges that are based on kilowatt hour usage. Customer net energy usage shall equal the kilowatt hours supplied to the customer over the electric distribution system minus the kilowatt hours generated by the customer-generator and fed into the electric distribution system over a billing period.~
~~~~~~ (b) For facilities with a total peak generating capacity of more than 100 kilowatts, the customer-generator shall pay all applicable charges on all kilowatt hours supplied to the customer over the electric distribution system, less a credit on default service charges equal to the metered energy generated by the customer-generator and fed into the electric distribution system over a billing period.~
~~~ V. When a customer-generator's net energy usage is negative (more electricity is fed into the distribution system than is received) over a billing period, such surplus shall either:~
~~~~~~ (a) Be credited to the customer-generator's account on an equivalent basis for use in subsequent billing cycles as a credit against the customer's net energy usage or bill in a manner consistent with either subparagraph IV(a) or IV(b), as applicable; or~
~~~~~~ (b) Except as provided in paragraph VI, the customer-generator may elect to be paid or credited by the electric distribution utility for its excess generation at rates that are equal to the utility's avoided costs for energy and capacity to provide default service as determined by the commission consistent with the requirements of the Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act of 1978 (PURPA). The commission shall determine reasonable conditions for such an election, including the frequency of payment and how often a customer-generator may choose this option versus the option in subparagraph (a).~
~~~ VI. Instead of the option in subparagraph V(b), an electric distribution utility providing default service to customer-generators may voluntarily elect, annually, on a generic basis, by notification to the commission, to purchase or credit such excess generation from customer-generators at a rate that is equal to the generation supply component of the applicable default service rate, provided that payment is issued at least as often as whenever the value of such credit, in excess of amounts owed by the customer-generator, is greater than $50.~
~~~ VII. A distribution utility may perform an annual calculation to determine the net effect this section had on its default service and distribution revenues and expenses in the prior calendar year. The method of performing the calculation and applying the results, as well as a reconciliation mechanism to collect or credit any such net effects with appropriate carrying charges and credits applied, shall be determined by the commission.~
~~~ VIII. Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, the commission may establish, on a utility-specific or generic basis, a methodology by which customer-generators may be provided service under time-based, net energy metering tariffs. The methodology shall specify how a customer's energy usage and generation shall be metered, how net energy usage shall be calculated and any applicable charges applied, and how excess generation shall be credited, consistent with size limits and the terms and conditions and intent of this section and other requirements of state and federal law.~
~~~ IX. Renewable energy credits shall remain the property of the customer-generator until such credits are sold or transferred. If an electric distribution utility acquires renewable energy credits from a customer-generator in conjunction with purchasing excess generation, it may apply such generation and credits to its renewable energy source default service option under RSA 374-F:3, V(f).~
~~~ X. The commission shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, to:~
~~~~~~ (a) Establish reasonable interconnection requirements for safety, reliability, and power quality as it determines the public interest requires. Such rules shall not exceed applicable test standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or Underwriters Laboratory (UL); and~
~~~~~~ (b) Implement the provisions of this section.~
~~~ XI. The commission may by order, after notice and hearing:~
~~~~~~ (a) Waive any of the limitations set forth in this chapter for targeted net energy metering arrangements that are part of a utility strategy to minimize distribution or other costs; and~
~~~~~~ (b) Implement any utility-specific provisions authorized under this section.~
~~~ XII. Once the commission has established standards for equipment used by eligible customer-generators, electric distribution utilities shall not require any additional standards or testing for transmission equipment as a condition of net energy metering.~
~~~ XIII. Customer-generators shall be responsible for all costs associated with interconnection with the distribution system.~
~~~ XIV. (a) A customer-generator may elect to become a group host for the purpose of reducing or otherwise controlling the energy costs of a group of customers who are not customer-generators. The group of customers shall be default service customers of the same electric distribution utility as the host. The host shall provide a list of the group members to the commission and the electric distribution utility and shall certify that all members of the group have executed an agreement with the host regarding the utilization of kilowatt hours produced by the eligible facility and that the total historic annual load of the group members together with the host exceeds the projected annual output of the host's facility. The commission shall verify that these group requirements have been met and shall register the group host. The commission shall establish the process for registering hosts, including periodic re-registration, and the process by which changes in membership are allowed and administered.~
~~~~~~ (b) Except as provided in subparagraph (c), the provisions of this section shall apply to a group host as a customer-generator.~
~~~~~~ (c) Notwithstanding paragraph V, a group host shall be paid for its surplus generation at the end of each billing cycle at rates consistent with the credit the group host receives relative to its own net metering under either subparagraph IV(a) or (b). On an annual basis, the electric distribution utility shall calculate a payment adjustment if the host's surplus generation for which it was paid is greater than the group's total electricity usage during the same time period. The adjustment shall be such that the resulting compensation to the host for the amount that exceeded the group's total usage shall be at the utility's avoided cost or its default service rate in accordance with subparagraph V(b) or paragraph VI. The utility shall pay or bill the host accordingly.~
~~~~~~ (d) Group hosts shall be responsible for any costs necessary to upgrade a utility's information systems in order to implement this paragraph, as determined by the commission.~
~~~~~~ (e) The commission is authorized to assess fines against, revoke the registration of, and prohibit from doing business in the state, any group host which violates the requirements of this paragraph and rules adopted pursuant to this paragraph.
Source.~1998, 261:10. 2000, 148:1, 2. 2007, 174:2-4, eff. Aug. 17, 2007. 2010, 143:3, eff. Aug. 13, 2010. 2011, 168:3, eff. July 1, 2011. 2012, 59:1, eff. July 13, 2012. 2013, 266:2, eff. July 24, 2013.

Town of Enfield, NH
23 Main Street, Enfield, NH 03748