No details yet as N.L. announces look at net metering, biogas

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Province says Navigant Consulting tapped for net metering policy research

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has issued a single press release with two energy-related announcements.

Telegram file photo

First, the province will launch a pilot project to consider the addition of biogas energy, to help diversify the province’s power system. Second, it will look at developing a policy of net metering for power bills.

The information released does not say exactly what will be involved in the biogas project, where it might take place or how it will be funded. It does state the program will be monitored.

A link provided in the province’s press release leads to a main page for the Department of Natural Resources where further information was not immediately available.

Biogas involves drawing energy from waste, including waste at landfills and agricultural byproducts, biomass. The energy comes from use of the gases, mainly methane, emitted from the waste.

“Electricity generated from the biogas pilot program will result in various environmental benefits, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. This program demonstrates our government’s commitment to mitigating the effects of climate change,” said Vaughan Granter, minister of Environment and the minister responsible for the office of climate change, in the statement.

Meanwhile, the statement issued by government also notes a separate initiative for net metering.

Net metering would allow individual power users to produce energy for their own use — say, through solar panels or a wind turbine — and send excess energy they have out to the larger, provincial power grid, typically in exchange for a deduction on their energy bills.

Navigant Consulting Limited has been awarded a contract valued at $50,760, “to research relevant standard industry practices and provide guidance on developing a proposed net metering policy which will also allow small-scale renewable energy sources to be fed into the province’s electricity grid.”

“This work is the next logical step in developing a net metering policy that reflects best practices and lessons learned from other jurisdictions. We have been working with Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro and Newfoundland Power on a framework for the net metering policy and have also met with staff of the Public Utilities Board to discuss implementation issues,” Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley said in the same statement.

“Any policy put in place will provide value for ratepayers, and will be designed to meet the needs of the majority of homeowners in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

The Telegram has requested an interview with Dalley, seeking further information on both items.

Organizations: Navigant Consulting Limited, Department of Natural Resources, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro Newfoundland Power Public Utilities Board

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • george p b
    September 02, 2014 - 20:17

    Newfoundland Power is a publicly traded company...Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley is pulling our leg when he says “Any policy put in place will provide value for ratepayers, and will be designed to meet the needs of the majority of homeowners in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

    • david
      September 10, 2014 - 12:49

      No it is not. It is wholly-owned by Fortis, which is a publicly traded company. When one doesn't understand basic facts, one's opinions are of little value.

  • george p b
    September 02, 2014 - 19:59

    Net metering needs no study... Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro and Newfoundland Power could implement this quite easily, a mere software change. For policy, copy & paste from Kentucky (for example); this is a no brainer. Maybe the power companies are paying off politicians to keep this sensible change from happening. Paying consultants to figure out is ridiculous...All it takes is a stroke of the pen from Tom Marshall....