Net metering in South Dakota is one step closer


Great news! Today, Senator Jason Frerichs and I took Dakota Rural Action’s proposal for net metering to the Legislative Research Council to be drafted! I have to admit, it was a little bit exhilarating, because I really to believe we have a great proposal with the potential to bring out great discussion and a really necessary policy change in South Dakota.

Here are the details of what we are asking for:

Eligible Technologies: Solar, wind, bio-Mass, small hydroelectric , and fuel cells using renewable energy.

Applicable Sectors: Commercial, industrial, residential.

Applicable Utilities: Investor Owned Utilities. Rural electric associations would be exempt from the legislation, but would be required to set their own policy for customer compensation for generated electricity within the next year.

Limit on System Capacity: 2Mw.

Limit on Aggregate Capacity:  5% of utility’s most recent peak summer load.

Net Excess Generation (NEG): 1 to 1 Kw credited, allowed to carry forward and settled on an annual basis – retail net metering.

The Community Energy Development Committee has been working for a long time on this, so it is a good step forward to actually have the bill language being put together now. I think it is a great testimony to how DRA goes about this kind of work. Sen. Frerichs was contacted by a member of the committee, which led to his sponsoring of our bill. Our potential House sponsor, Representative Hawks, was contacted by at least one DRA member. Another bill supporter, Representative Feickert, heard about our proposal through the introductory letter I sent out in December, and called us to let us know he is interested. He also let us know one of his constituents is a big net metering supporter – and that constituent is now a member of our committee and helping us keep up the momentum.

I know it will take a lot more grassroots support for this to get it passed. I’m looking forward to seeing that happen!

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