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Louisiana

Louisiana

Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

Printable Version
Interconnection Guidelines   

Last DSIRE Review: 08/05/2014
Program Overview:
State: Louisiana
Incentive Type: Interconnection
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Geothermal Electric, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels, Microturbines
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Agricultural
Applicable Utilities:All utilities
System Capacity Limit:Commercial and agricultural: 300 kW
Residential: 25 kW
Standard Agreement:Yes
Insurance Requirements:Not addressed
External Disconnect Switch:Not required for certain inverter-based systems; required for all other systems
Net Metering Required:Yes
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
La. R.S. 51:3061 et seq.
6/27/2003
10/1/2003
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
LA PSC Order, Docket No. R-27558
11/30/2005
11/30/2005
Authority 3:
Date Enacted:
LA PSC Docket No. R-31417
07/22/2011
Summary:

Note: Ongoing proceedings related to net metering can be found in Docket R-31417.

The Louisiana Public Service Commission (PSC) adopted rules for net metering and interconnection in November 2005. Louisiana's rules, based on those in place in Arkansas, require publicly-owned utilities and rural electric cooperatives to offer net metering to customers with systems that generate electricity using solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal or biomass resources.* Fuel cells and microturbines that generate electricity entirely derived from renewable resources are also eligible. The rules apply to residential facilities with a maximum capacity of 25 kilowatts (kW) and commercial systems with a maximum capacity of 300 kW. In 2008 (Act 543), the state legislature increased the net metering and interconnection limit from 100 kW to 300 kW for commercial and agricultural use. The PSC opened Docket R-31417 in July 2010 in order to review its rules to increase to the state-mandated 300 kW limit. The PSC approved the increase in May 2011.

Utilities must provide customers with a meter capable of measuring the flow of electricity in both directions. Although utilities must pay for the cost of the meter itself, customer-generators must pay a one-time charge to cover the installation cost of the meter. Interconnected systems must meet all safety and performance standards established by local and national electric codes, including the National Electric Code (NEC), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL). A manual external disconnect switch is required for all interconnected systems. The manual external disconnect switch requirement is waived if the inverter is designed to shut down in the event that utility service is lost, the inverter is warranted by the manufacturer to shut down in this situation, and the inverter has been inspected and tested by utility personnel.

Customers seeking to interconnect and net meter must submit an interconnection agreement to a utility 45 days prior to interconnection. Utilities must use a PSC-approved standard interconnection agreement for interconnected facilities.

Customers must pay for "interconnection costs," defined as "the reasonable costs of connection, switching, metering, transmission, distribution, safety provisions and administrative costs incurred by the electric utility directly related to the installation and maintenance of the physical facilities necessary to permit interconnected operations with a net-metering facility, to the extent the costs are in excess of the corresponding costs which the electric utility would have incurred if it had not engaged in interconnected operations, but instead generated an equivalent amount of electric energy itself or purchased an equivalent amount of electric energy or capacity from other sources." Furthermore, following notice and opportunity for public comment, the PSC may authorize a utility to assess customer-generators "a greater fee or customer charge, of any type, if the electric utility's direct costs of interconnection and administration of net metering outweigh the distribution system, environmental and public-policy benefits of allocating the costs among the electric utility's entire customer base."

Additional Resources:


* The PSC regulates investor-owned utilities and electric cooperatives in Louisiana; it does not regulate municipal-owned utilities, and its rules do not apply to municipal utilities. Municipal utilities must develop their own programs based on the statute.


 
Contact:
  Public Information
Louisiana Public Service Commission
Galvez Building, 12th Floor
602 North Fifth Street
Post Office Box 91154
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-9154
Phone: (225) 342-4404
Fax: (225) 342-2831
Web Site: http://www.lpsc.org/
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2013 - 2014 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.