Premier Renewables headed out to the Central Valley last week to discuss one of their PV projects in Orange Cove, as well as various agricultural solar programs available. One of the primary topics of discussion was the new Aggregate Meter Program recently introduced by three large utility companies in California (PG&E, SCE, and SD&E). This program allows customers to install and connect solar panels to one electricity meter but associate the solar electricity generated to multiple different electricity meters.
This program has been working considerably well for farmers who run agricultural operations with multiple well pumps and only want to install one PV system. Some of the characteristics to be aware of are:
- There is no limit to the number of electricity meters that can be associated to a single Arrangement (a collection of meters that receives the value of the solar electricity produced), however:
- All meters must be on a single parcel, or on multiple contiguous land parcelsThe maximum PV system size for any one Arrangement is 1 MW, but multiple 1 MW arrangements are allowed.
- Public thoroughfares, such as highways, do not “break the chain” of contiguous parcels
- Individual meters can be added or removed from an Arrangement at any time
- All meter types and rate schedule can be included in an Arrangement: commercial, agricultural, residential, etc.
- The utility company may allow a new electricity meter to be installed at the PV system site
The utility company uses a complicated formula to determine energy allocation. Because the effect the kWh allocation formula will have on a particular collection of electricity meters is not intuitive, it’s imperative that a thorough assessment is performed using your actual data. Premier Renewables can provide this analysis for you, using their own proprietary software models, ensuring you get the most value out of a particular meter arrangement.
Premier Renewables is currently completing an aggregating metering project in Excelsior, Hanford. It is a 200 kW project installed under PG&E’s new aggregated metering program. The 200kW PV system interconnects at one meter, but produces enough energy to offset 3 separate well pump meters on the property. The customer is able to reduce all electricity bills for their agricultural operation.