A working group that includes Standard Solar and other state-registered solar designers and installers has begun hashing out the draft of a rule to value the excess amount of electricity a solar system generates. A new law mandates that the Maryland Public Service Commission host the working group, which began this past week.

The initial skirmish pits a proposal from Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) against the interests of solar system owners looking to maximize the value of the electricity their systems are putting on to the regional power grid during hot summer weekdays.  The installers, led by Attorney Chris Cook —  the principal author of Maryland’s original net metering law — have formed the “Joint Solar Advocates” to work with BGE, the state’s ratepayer advocate and the Commission staff attorney.

In essence, BGE wants to create a value figured on an aggregate average of excess electricity throughout a particular zone in their service territory. Such an approach could eviscerate what the net metering in Maryland was and still is designed to accomplish: to, among other things, “encourage private investment in renewable energy resources, stimulate in-State economic growth (and) enhance continued diversification of the State’s energy resource mix…”.  The Joint Solar Advocates group is seeking methodology used in New Jersey where excess generation over a 12-month period is paid to the solar system owner at an average price in each utility’s service territory using a price geared to the system’s location in the regional power grid. This is called LMP for “locational marginal pricing.”

Check back here at the Standard Solar blog for updates. You can also try to track the filings on the Maryland Public Service Commission’s web page dedicated to Rule Making (RM) 41, “Regulations in Connection with Electricity – Net Energy Metering – Credits” here: http://webapp.psc.state.md.us/Intranet/AdminDocket/CaseAction_new.cfm?CaseNumber=RM41