With more Florida businesses using and benefitting from customer-owned renewable generation, Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved costs to interconnect Tropicana Manufacturing Company’s renewable facility to Florida Power & Light Company’s (FPL) system.
“The PSC’s net metering rule makes it easier for Florida homes and businesses to generate their own renewable energy,” said PSC Chairman Ronald A. Brisé. “Using renewable energy is cost effective for the customer, lowers fossil fuel use, protects the environment, and helps stimulate the economy. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen customer-owned renewable use jump by 75 percent.”
Tropicana plans to install a 1.6 megawatt (MW) renewable landfill gas-fired generation facility at its Fort Pierce site to power plant operations. To interconnect the new generation, FPL will be modifying its interconnection facilities to include relay protection cabinets, protection and control equipment, and fiber optic cabling, totaling $95,000. Today’s decision allows FPL to recover these costs from Tropicana. To protect all ratepayers, the PSC’s net metering rule requires that the interconnecting customer pay for utility system modifications, if necessary.
Established in 2007, the PSC’s net metering rule promotes the development of customer-owned renewable generation up to 2 MW and expedites its interconnection to the utility’s grid. Investor-owned utilities subject to the rule—FPL, Progress Energy Florida, Inc., Tampa Electric Company, and Gulf Power Company—are required to offer an expedited interconnection agreement process for homeowners and businesses wanting to connect a renewable system to the utility’s grid.
Customers who receive their electricity from a municipal electric utility or a rural electric cooperative also have incentives to generate their own renewable electricity. Every Florida municipal and cooperative utility selling retail electricity is required, by statute, to provide a standardized interconnection agreement and net metering program for customer-owned renewable generation systems.