Solar Builder

NOV-DEC 2018

Solar Builder focuses on the installation/construction of solar PV systems. We cover the latest PV technology (modules, mounting, inverters, storage, BOS) and equip installers/contractors with tips and tools to make informed purchasing decisions.

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6 N OV E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8 FROM THE EDITOR Solar Builder (ISSN 2166-5362) is published bimonthly by Benjamin Media Inc., 10050 Brecksville Rd., Brecksville, OH 44141 USA. Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. One year subscription rates: complimentary in the United States and Canada. Single copy rate: $10. Subscriptions and classified advertising should be addressed to the Brecksville office. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Solar Builder, 10050 Brecksville Road, Brecksville, OH 44141 USA CANADIAN SUBSCRIPTIONS: Canada Post Agreement Number 40830553. Send change of address information and blocks of undeliverable copies to: KML Logistics Group Inc., 118 Herald Ave., Oakville, ON L6K 1S2 Canada. PUBLISHER Robert D. Krzys robk@benjaminmedia.com EDITORIAL Associate Publisher Keith Gribbins kgribbins@benjaminmedia.com Managing Editor Chris Crowell ccrowell@benjaminmedia.com SALES+MARKETING Marketing Director Kelly Dadich kdadich@benjaminmedia.com Brand Sales Manager Hannah Schiffman hschiffman@benjaminmedia.com Conferences Sales Coordinator Brittany Cline bcline@benjaminmedia.com PRODUCTION+FULFILLMENT Production Manager Chris Slogar cslogar@benjaminmedia.com Graphic Artist Sarah Haughawout shaughawout@benjaminmedia.com Director of Web/Audience Development Mark Gorman mgorman@benjaminmedia.com Audience Development/Sustainability Coordinator Cayla Poteete cpoteete@benjaminmedia.com REPRINTS Wright's Media (877) 652-5295 • Fax: (281) 419-5712 Chief Executive Officer Bernard P. Krzys bkrzys@benjaminmedia.com President Robert D. Krzys robk@benjaminmedia.com Controller Marianne Saykes msaykes@benjaminmedia.com 10050 Brecksville Rd. Brecksville, OH 44141 USA (330) 467-7588 • Fax: (330) 468-2289 info@benjaminmedia.com R unning counter to the positivity and collaborative vibe in our Solar Power International coverage starting on page 8 is what's going on in New York. The state is at an important juncture in its Reforming the Energy Vision (REV ) development as a working group is currently assessing proposals for mass market rate design, two of which include demand charges. Considering the whole point of REV is to build toward a distributed future, this raised our eyebrows because demand charges are fundamentally at odds with that goal. So, what's the deal here? Within the overall REV framework, there are numerous working groups and proceedings going on. We are in Phase 1 right now, which moved much of the industry to the VDER value stack, with mass market rate design — residential and small commercial — still on a net metering plan until Phase 2, which starts Jan. 1, 2020. The proposals are assessed by 1) the New York Department of Public Service (DPS), 2) the joint utilities ( JU) and 3) a third-party consultant contracted by the DPS. The working group will keep meeting and go over various issues and culminate in a report from staff to the commission at the end of this year. The commission will then put forward an order at the start of 2019 to imple- ment the next phase of rate design in 2020. So, this is a much more evolutionary process than a typical rate case, but it is still disconcerting that the joint utilities have shown their view of future mass market rate design includes demand charges. "I am not surprised that the JU took this direction," says Evan Dube, senior director of public policy at Sunrun."We've seen this proposed by utilities a fair amount in the recent past — a major- ity of which have been rejected [up to 16 states where it's been proposed and rejected by Sunrun's count]. We in the renewables industry often reference back to the importance of continuity in the default rates, and the rates for which DER customers will be placed." Because the utilities are also part of the group assessing proposals, two of which they submitted, the solar industry stakeholders have been stressing the need for transparency throughout the work- ing group and going forward. Again, just because these proposals exist (maybe as a negotiating tactic?) doesn't mean they are favored by the DPS staff or policy makers. Demand charges continue to be rejected in states around the country, and New York's investments in REV goals to this point seems to indicate they won't fly here either, but it is still another example of utilities seeking regressive rate design as a way forward. Chris Crowell, Managing Editor ccrowell@benjaminmedia.com REVing down? New York utilities seek demand charges

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