LAKE WORTH BEACH — The debate over Lake Worth Beach’s future of net metering — a practice that allows residents or businesses to store solar energy in the electric grid — will likely come down to how much compensation the city will allow for new program enrollees, as well as the size of systems residents can build.
The key point of discussion at Tuesday’s electric utility commission meeting will likely be a 10 kilowatt cap placed on solar systems connected to the city’s grid. Whether the cap is fair to residents and local business owners is a question that has put solar owners at odds with city officials.
For Brock Grill, one of the first Lake Worth Beach residents to put a solar system on his home, the cap is unrealistic. Grill said his 1,900 square-foot College Park home uses a 4.7 kilowatt system.
“That means somebody with a 3-or-4,000 square-foot house is out of luck. They’re barely going to make it,” he said. “They are not stealing power from the city when they do that. They are just trying to contribute.”
The cap stems from a 2012 commission resolution that put a 10 kilowatt limit on the size of the systems that could be connected to the city’s utility, but was subsequently forgotten.
The city’s electric utility advisory board, which has not met regularly since last summer, finally reconvened Tuesday to discuss with City Utility Director Ed Liberty the topic of net metering, which allows residents or businesses to store energy in the electric grid and sell excess energy back to the city. It has proven to be a popular way utilities in the U.S. compensate homeowners for going solar. [click for full article]