Growing installations of rooftop solar panels are increasing concern that U.S. utilities may refuse to buy power generated by the systems, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
Utilities are required to purchase electricity generated by solar panels installed on consumers’ homes under so-called net- metering policies, an arrangement that may become less viable as solar systems become more common, said Rhone Resch, chief executive officer of the Washington-based trade group.
California, the largest solar market, capped the amount of panels utilities are required to connect to their grids and other states are considering similar policies. Some utilities see the requirement to buy solar power from every rooftop system as a threat to their profitability, Resch said.
“Net metering works for us now, but we’re going to see a backlash from utilities as solar penetration increases over the next few years,” Resch said today in an interview at the Solar Power International conference in Orlando, Florida.
California regulators capped the amount of rooftop solar that may be connected to the grid at 5 percent of a a utility’s power needs, and is studying the long-term impact upon their profits. ...