WASHINGTON – In case you missed it, Senator Maggie Hassan visited Mine Falls Dam in Nashua on Friday, where she met with city officials, toured the hydroelectric facility, and discussed legislation she recently introduced to support net metering.
The National Evaluation of Techniques for Making Energy Technologies more Effective and Resilient (NET METER) Act would create a national study on net metering to guide states interested in starting a net metering program or expanding an existing program.
See below for highlights of coverage:
By Adam Urquhart
NASHUA – U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., toured Mines Falls Park Hydroelectric Facility on Friday, two days after she introduced a related bill which she said would eventually lead to lower utility bills.
The legislation is the National Evaluation of Techniques for Making Energy Technologies more Effective and Resilient Act. It would create a national study on net metering while providing guidance to establish and expand net metering programs to support growing clean energy industries.
“Net metering plays a critical role in helping build a more innovative, affordable, and cleaner energy future for New Hampshire and for the country by helping lower the energy bills of hard-working Granite Staters and Americans and increasing energy independence,” Hassan said in a statement.
… “Being a three-megawatt facility (Mine Falls), it’s currently too large of a facility to net meter under current state rules,” Nashua Waterways Manager Madeleine Mineau said. “There’s a Bill called SB446 that has gone through the state Senate, and will be making its way through the House, probably next week.”
Mineau said if that bill passes, it would allow a facility with up to five megawatts of capacity to participate in net metering.
… “If we could get net metering, it would definitely help in terms of a better return for the city on our investment here at the dam, and I really appreciate Hassan’s interest in this,” Mayor Jim Donchess said.
He said if Nashua could get net metering, it would make solar panel projects for municipal buildings much more feasible. […]
By Annie Ropeik
Senator Maggie Hassan was in Nashua Friday to tout her proposed study on the renewable energy practice of net metering, which lets ratepayers offset their bills by selling power they generate back into the grid.
… Hassan, a Democrat, wants the National Academy of Sciences to study the issue, so states like New Hampshire can fine-tune those rules.
"We have been concerned that other work that’s been done in this space is more one-sided,” she says. “So what I’m really just trying to do is get best practices out there."
Hassan talked about the legislation while touring the Mine Falls Dam in Nashua.
… The New Hampshire Senate has advanced a bill to raise the cap on large-scale net metering to five megawatts. Nashua’s waterways manager, Madeline Mineau, hopes it’ll become law.
… “Net metering is just such a great way for them to choose how they want to get their power, and to control their costs, and invest locally in renewables and then keep locally generated power local.”
Mineau led Sen. Hassan around the dam and powerhouse, where two multi-story turbines turn falling water into electricity.
… Mineau says she disagrees with net-metering opponents who say it creates a subsidy for renewable energy. She says Nashua would use more flexibility from the state to save money, by investing in solar or other net-metering projects.
Hassan says she hopes her study will encourage that kind of change.
“The administration may be turning a blind eye to climate change, but at the local level we’re not,” Hassan says. “So what I’m trying to make sure is that localities, cities, states, can move forward doing renewable energy as effectively as possible.” […]