Distributed Generation



LAKE MACBRIDE— Between now and Tuesday, the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) is accepting comments on distributed generation, or generating electricity closer to the point of use. This request for comments kicks off their first policy-making. It is common sense that if I can produce some of my own electricity at home, as a citizen, I should have the freedom to do so in compliance with regulations that may be promulgated by the IUB and our government. I made this comment:

NOI-2014-0001: Enable Distributed Generation to Advantage Citizens

Any rules regarding distributed electricity generation should enable individuals, property owners, and businesses to generate some or all of their own electricity and sell excess into the grid. Regulated utilities have made a substantial investment in infrastructure and contracts, and should receive reasonable consideration for them.

Why bother with taking action? Because it matters that we develop ways to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being dumped into the atmosphere. Distributed generation is a way to take personal control of the decision of how we will generate electricity, and open possibilities to use solar collectors to take advantage of our most abundant energy resource. It’s time to put a price on carbon, and part of the price is taking personal action to mitigate the causes of global warming. Distributed generation is part of an approach to doing so.

Here is the full text of the IUB press release on distributed generation:

Iowa Utilities Board opens inquiry, seeks public comment on distributed generation in Iowa

DES MOINES– The Iowa Utilities Board has opened a notice of inquiry (NOI) proceeding to gather information related to policy and technical issues associated with distributed generation, which is an approach that employs various technologies for power generation closer to the point of consumption.

Information gathered by the inquiry will assist the Board in addressing the potential widespread use of distributed generation, related consumer protections, and interconnection and safety considerations. In its December 2, 2013, and December 16, 2013, Energy Efficiency Plan orders, the Board informed rate-regulated utilities and other relevant parties of its intent to conduct this NOI proceeding.

The Board is asking for comments or information relevant to this inquiry, is accepting responses to its questions related to distributed generation, and could seek additional responses to more specific questions and/or schedule a workshop(s) after all initial comments have been received. For more information, please see the Board’s Order Initiating Docket No. NOI-2014-0001.

The inquiry responses will provide information to the Board and other groups involved in energy, environmental, and economic policy for a more thorough understanding of the technical, financial, regulatory, safety, and policy aspects of distributed generation. In addition to Iowa utilities, the Board invites broad participation from other state agencies, local government and non-governmental organizations, environmental groups, renewable energy trade associations, industrials, and any others with an interest in these issues to contribute in this process.

Anyone may participate, and also respond to the questions posed in the Board’s written order, by submitting comments via its electronic filing system, https://efs.iowa.gov. Questions regarding this inquiry docket may be addressed to Brenda Biddle, Brenda.Biddle@iub.iowa.gov.

The Board is interested in hearing an extensive range of comments. Initial comments are sought by February 25, 2014. The Board has not previously conducted an inquiry related to distributed generation and has not taken any particular positions as it begins to gather information.

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