BRIAN MAFFLY | The Salt Lake Tribune
Utah’s fierce-if-wonky debate over rooftop solar resumed this week before the Public Service Commission, which heard three days of expert testimony and public comment on costs and benefits associated with Rocky Mountain Power’s net-metered customers.
This small, but growing, number of ratepayers reduce their utility bills by generating excess power when the sun is out, which they get credited for when they draw power at night.
Utah’s largest utility says its solar-equipped customers are mooching off the system by not covering their share of the electrical grid’s fixed costs.
But an independent study commissioned by proponents of renewable energy found that every dollar invested in rooftop solar results in a benefit worth $12 to $24 for all the utility’s customers. This is because such “distributed power generation” reduces the need to build costly centralized power stations in the future, according to an analysis conducted by Synapse Energy Economics. (…)
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