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General Laws

Section 139. (a) A distribution company customer that uses electricity generated by a Class I or Class II net metering facility may elect net metering as follows:

(1) If the electricity generated by the Class I or Class II net metering facility during a billing period exceeds the customer’s kilowatt-hour usage during the billing period, the customer shall be billed for 0 kilowatt-hour usage and the excess Class I or Class II net metering credits shall be credited to the customer’s account. Credits may be carried forward from month to month. A Class I or Class II net metering facility may designate customers of the same distribution company to which the Class I or Class II net metering facility is interconnected and that are located in the same ISO-NE load zone to receive such credits in amounts attributed by the Class I or Class II net metering facility. Written notice of the identities of the customers so designated and the amounts of the credits to be attributed to such customers shall be in a form as the distribution company shall reasonably require.

(2) If the customer’s kilowatt-hour usage exceeds the electricity generated by the Class I or Class II net metering facility during the billing period, the customer shall be responsible for the balance at the distribution company’s applicable rate.

(b) A distribution company customer that uses electricity generated by a Class III net metering facility may elect net metering as follows:

(1) If the electricity generated by the Class III net metering facility during a billing period exceeds the customer’s kilowatt-hour usage during the billing period, the customer shall be billed for 0 kilowatt-hour usage and the excess Class III net metering credits shall be credited to the customer’s account. Credits may be carried forward from month to month. A Class III net metering facility may designate customers of the same distribution company to which the Class III net metering facility is interconnected and that are located in the same ISO-NE load zone to receive such credits in amounts attributed to such customers by the Class III net metering facility. Written notice of the identities of the customers so designated and the amounts of the credits to be attributed to such customers shall be in a form as the distribution company shall reasonably require. A distribution company may elect not to allocate such credits and instead may purchase net metering credits from the facility at the rates provided for in this subsection.

(2) If the customer’s kilowatt-hour usage exceeds the electricity generated by the Class III net metering facility during the billing period, the customer shall be responsible for the balance at the distribution company’s applicable rate.

(c) The distribution portion of any Class I, Class II or Class III net metering credits and distribution company delivery charges displaced by a Class I, Class II or Class III net metering facility shall be aggregated by the distribution company and billed to all customers on an annual basis through a uniform per kilowatt-hour surcharge or surcharges.

(d) The distribution company shall impose tariffs, as may be approved from time to time by the department, regarding necessary interconnection studies and the type, costs and timeframe for installing metering and distribution system upgrades to accommodate these installations. Such tariffs shall require that all facilities maintain adequate insurance. Distribution companies shall be prohibited from imposing special fees on Class I net metering facilities, such as backup charges and demand charges, or additional controls or liability insurance, as long as the facility meets the other requirements of the interconnection tariff and all relevant safety and power quality standards.

Before providing net metering service under this section, a Class II or III net metering facility shall provide all necessary information to, and cooperate with, the distribution utility to which it is interconnected to enable the distribution utility to obtain the appropriate asset identification for reporting generation to ISO-NE.

(e) A Class I, II or III net metering facility or net metering customer shall not be: an electric utility, generation company, aggregator, supplier, energy marketer or energy broker, within the meaning of those terms as defined in sections 1 and 1F.

(f) The aggregate net metering capacity of facilities that are not net metering facilities of a municipality or other governmental entity shall not exceed 3 per cent of the distribution company’s peak load. The aggregate net metering capacity of net metering facilities of a municipality or other governmental entity shall not exceed 3 per cent of the distribution company’s peak load. The maximum amount of generating capacity eligible for net metering by a municipality or other governmental entity shall be 10 megawatts. For the purpose of calculating the aggregate capacity, the capacity of a solar net metering facility shall be 80 per cent of the facility’s direct current rating at standard test conditions and the capacity of a wind net metering facility or an anaerobic digestion net metering facility shall be the nameplate rating.

(g) The department shall adopt rules and regulations necessary to carry out this section, including adoption of a system that provides proposed net metering facilities of a municipality or other governmental entity an assurance of net metering eligibility at the time the facilities meet criteria established by the department. Nothing in this subsection shall limit the department’s authority to adopt rules and regulations relating to other proposed net metering facilities.

(h) A municipality or other governmental entity that is a member of a cooperative corporation, organized under section 136, that is comprised solely of municipalities or other governmental entities, may transfer any or all of the net metering generating capacity associated with a facility, or facilities, as specified in subsection (f) to said cooperative corporation by providing written assent to the cooperative corporation and obtaining approval from the department. Such a cooperative corporation may serve as a host customer, as defined in 220 CMR 18.02, for net metering facilities of municipalities or other governmental entities for all such allocated capacity and its own allocation of capacity as an other governmental entity; provided, that the net metering credits for which such cooperative serves as host customer shall only be allocated to such cooperative or its members. Such cooperative shall not be considered an electric company, generation company, aggregator, supplier, energy marketer or energy broker, as those terms are defined in sections 1 and 1F.

(i) A Class I net metering facility shall be exempt from the aggregate net metering capacity of facilities that are not net metering facilities of a municipality or other governmental entity under subsection (f), and may net meter if it is generating renewable energy and the nameplate capacity of the facility is (1) equal to or less than 10 kilowatts on a single-phase circuit or (2) 25 kilowatts on a 3-phase circuit.

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