MARCH 2014

Vol. 17, No. 3

This newsletter has been designed to provide state-level policy updates and capture emerging regional trends in net metering, interconnection and related topics. Please send any relevant news or upcoming events to [email protected].

Note from the Editor

Meet Solar's Imaginary Friend, Reactive Power


Utilities deliver both active (or real) power and reactive (or imaginary) power along their distribution lines. Real power does the actual work when you flip on a light switch.  Certain energy loads, such as motors and refrigerators, include energy storage elements that periodically need to reverse the direction of energy flow. This electric power from stored electromagnetic energy, which returns to the source in each cycle, is known as reactive power. 


Utilities care about reactive power because, even though it does no work at the point of consumption, it is needed to maintain voltage to deliver active power. Do you remember the largest blackout in U.S. history that surged through the Northeast in 2003? The cause for this, and several other major blackouts, can largely be attributed to a severe shortage of reactive power, which failed to maintain voltage along major power routes.

State News In Detail

Northeastern States

Massachusetts moves toward improving its interconnection procedures.  Read more.


New Hampshire forges ahead with shared solar options. Read more.


New York utility proposes energy storage plan for NYC. Read more.


Mid-Atlantic States 

Pennsylvania PUC proposes net metering changes. Read more.


Midwestern States      

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


Kansas municipality approves net metering and interconnection rules. Read more.


Southern States    

North Carolina Commission requests net metering comments. Read more.


Western States     

Arizona regulators consider dropping rooftop-solar mandate. Read more.


Other States        

Hawaii creates test bed for energy storage technologies. Read more.



Federal and Miscellaneous News
U.S. solar power becoming competitive, Energy Secretary says.  Read more.

In This Issue
Upcoming Events
March 19
Portland, OR

April 28-30
Newport Beach, CA
About this Newsletter
Connecting to the Grid is a free, electronic newsletter published each month by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC).




IREC does not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product or process that is referred to or linked to in this newsletter. Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply IREC's endorsement or recommendation. See the fair use notice here. 


Interstate Renewable Energy Council | 518-458-6059 | [email protected] |
P.O. Box 1156
Latham, NY 12110-1156

Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved.