A third workshop to help the Minnesota Department of Commerce establish a solar value methodology was held on Oct. 15 at the Science Museum of Minnesota in Saint Paul. The workshop, with 120 attendees, included presentations on key methodologies from Clean Power Research and Rabago Energy, as well as from stakeholders such as Xcel Energy, Vote Solar Initiative, Environmental Law and Policy Center, Fresh Energy, and Interstate Renewable Energy Council. Commerce will take the input from the past three workshops to help develop an initial draft of a value of solar tariff methodology in time for the fourth workshop on Nov. 19. The tariff would provide an option to net metering for the state's investor-owned utilities.
Legislation passed in 2013 requires Commerce to submit a methodology to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission by Jan. 31, 2014. The methodology must include the value of energy and its delivery, generation capacity, transmission capacity, transmission and distribution line losses, and environmental value. The credit will represent the present value of the future revenue streams of these components. More information on the Value of Solar Tariff Methodology is available.