Net Energy Metering Aggregation (NEMA) -- also known as Aggregated Net Metering or Meter Aggregation -- allows a single, centralized solar panel system to service multiple meters/service points, making solar an even better investment for Ag producers. This was made possible through SB 594 and was approved by the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of the state of California, going into effect in February, 2014.
|Before Nema||After Nema||$3.5 Million Additional Savings|
|• $3 million deployment cost||• $2 million deployment cost||• $1 million deployment savings|
|• $200,000 annual savings||• $300,000 annual savings||• $2.5 million additional lifetime savings|
Before Net Energy Metering Aggregation/Aggregated Net Metering:
- Growers wanting to offset electricity had to build a solar electric generating system where the demand was – close to a water pump in their orchards or fields, for example. This could sometimes lead to hard decisions about displacing crops with solar panels.
- Each meter/service had to be serviced by a separate solar panel system. For Ag operations with multiple pumps and/or buildings on multiple properties, this required deploying multiple solar installations. (While this did increase costs, falling solar panel prices and other factors still enabled solar investments to generate ROI of 15% to 40%!)
Net Energy Metering Aggregation/Aggregated Net Metering changes all that:
- A single solar panel system can offset multiple meters/service points:
- Solar panels do not have to be on the same property as the meters, but can be located on a “contiguous” or adjacent piece of property, as long as it is owned, rented, or leased by the same customer who owns the meter(s)
- Roads don’t break up “contiguous” properties, as long as you have legal rights to property on both sides of the road and a meter in that area that needs to be offset
- A single solar panel system can offset meters with different rates – Ag, commercial, residential, etc
In order to qualify for Aggregate Net Metering, the single solar panel system can generate no more than 1 MW of electricity, which is enough to offset:
- 3-4 water/irrigation deep well or booster pumps*
- 2 -3 water/irrigation pumps and a building*
- 1-2 pumps water/irrigation pumps, your facility and your home*
Bottom line? California’s Ag businesses can freely choose where on their property they want to put a solar panel system to offset multiple electric meters.