sub3marathonman
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Location: Bartow, FL

Demand Rates and Solar / Using The Grid "For Free"

Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:07 pm

I'm wondering if anybody is being forced to join a demand rate (kw/time) schedule because they have grid-tied solar.

The local utility here is trying to do that, with the "justification" the usual that interconnected solar customers use the grid "for free" as a storage battery and are thus subsidized by all the other good customers who don't bother trying to conserve. They actually have said that the rates had to be adjusted higher because too many people were conserving. This is a city-owned utility that shovels money into the city treasury by the truckload, and the city commissioners who set the rates don't want to lose a penny they can grab. Oh, and the ironic thing is they've just put in 5MW of PV, with another 6MW on the way. They want the PV, they jut don't want anybody else to have it.

I can understand having a demand rate, but it should be for everybody. And now that they have installed the smartmeters, it can easily be done, they however just want to target solar customers. Also, I have been unsuccessfully searching for justification for what seems intrinsically obvious, that the demand charge should be broken up into a peak demand rate, and an off-peak demand rate at about 10% of the peak demand rate.

It just bothers me too if I'm forced to charge the LEAF on peak-times when I'm generating PV, instead of sending it back to reduce peak demand for the electric company and customers, when I'm able to charge off-peak when capacity is under-utilized. They run peak diesel generators at times, which I believe with proper management could be eliminated.

There have been some excellent postings embedded in other threads about this topic, I thought they might be easier to locate in one thread.

Thanks for the help.

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Randy
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Re: Demand Rates and Solar / Using The Grid "For Free"

Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:30 pm

Where are you located? What is the utility?

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RegGuheert
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Re: Demand Rates and Solar / Using The Grid "For Free"

Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:37 pm

I'm sorry, but what OP's utility is doing is completely ridiculous.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

sub3marathonman
Posts: 309
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:57 am
Delivery Date: 31 Mar 2012
Location: Bartow, FL

Re: Demand Rates and Solar / Using The Grid "For Free"

Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:44 pm

Randy wrote:Where are you located? What is the utility?
I'm located in Lakeland Florida, and the utility is Lakeland Electric.

I was just hoping though for a more general, non-location specific discussion about this.

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RegGuheert
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Re: Demand Rates and Solar / Using The Grid "For Free"

Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:01 pm

sub3marathonman wrote:I'm located in Lakeland Florida, and the utility is Lakeland Electric.
To me, that makes this even worse. In a hot climate, the peak electrical load is often well-correlated with peak PV production. What this means is that your PV panels work DIRECTLY against their peak load. And they do so from the load side, so they DO reduce the current in the lines.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

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DaveEV
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Location: San Diego

Re: Demand Rates and Solar / Using The Grid "For Free"

Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:35 pm

Changes like this are coming because the utilities simply don't know how to handle solar customers.

Implementing demand charges will just further encourage customers to install grid storage to manage demand charges which is already revenue positive in some areas.

As grid storage grows it will only become more cost effective and result in even less grid utilization. Eventually the utility will be left with customers cutting the cord completely to the utility's detriment and eventual death.

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Randy
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Re: Demand Rates and Solar / Using The Grid "For Free"

Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:38 pm

I'm looking at your rate page...

Link here:
http://www.lakelandelectric.com/Portals ... cation.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Page 14 describes the Residential Service Demand that you seem to be mentioning.

New services with solar have to take this rate schedule as of October 2015, but existing customers don't have to take this rate schedule until October 2025. So it seems there is a pretty long grace period for starting on this rate...

Is this the rate you are talking about?

sub3marathonman
Posts: 309
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:57 am
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Location: Bartow, FL

Re: Demand Rates and Solar / Using The Grid "For Free"

Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:54 pm

Randy wrote:I'm looking at your rate page...

Link here:
http://www.lakelandelectric.com/Portals ... cation.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Page 14 describes the Residential Service Demand that you seem to be mentioning.

New services with solar have to take this rate schedule as of October 2015, but existing customers don't have to take this rate schedule until October 2025. So it seems there is a pretty long grace period for starting on this rate..
Is this the rate you are talking about?
Yes, that's the one. But any new customers after 10/2015 must be on that rate. And they are hoping I will go on that rate because I do have battery backup and want to see what I'll do. But I might just, as has been suggested, go partially off-grid with my current PV, although I've really wanted to add more.

And it is also more of a theoretical as opposed to a critical discussion for me personally, but I would like to be able to show the politicians running Lakeland Electric how hypocritical they really are, as this contradicts federal policy suggestions ongoing from many years ago to shift towards a TOU more equitable rate. They have declared war on home solar, while they're installing it themselves.

sub3marathonman
Posts: 309
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:57 am
Delivery Date: 31 Mar 2012
Location: Bartow, FL

Re: Demand Rates and Solar / Using The Grid "For Free"

Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:00 pm

drees wrote:Eventually the utility will be left with customers cutting the cord completely to the utility's detriment and eventual death.
That would be wonderful for the politicians siphoning money from Lakeland Electric in order to fund their favorite projects and fiascos. They already have customers in the county subsidizing their property taxes through Lakeland Electric.

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RegGuheert
Posts: 6419
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:12 am
Delivery Date: 16 Mar 2012
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Location: Northern VA

Re: Demand Rates and Solar / Using The Grid "For Free"

Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:41 pm

sub3marathonman wrote:They have declared war on home solar, while they're installing it themselves.
It sure sounds like it. I think distributed generation scares some of these utilities who want to keep everything centralized.

And the simple fact is that distributed PV is a much better technical solution than centralized solar. Hopefully physics will win out over politics.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

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