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Effort to cap surplus sale of solar, wind electricity nixed

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — One Pennsylvania state agency is rejecting a move by another to limit how much surplus electricity can be sold back to utilities from customer-owned solar panels or wind turbines.

The Independent Regulatory Review Commission voted unanimously Thursday against the proposal by the Public Utility Commission, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports (http://bit.ly/1TrPr5r).

That proposal would have capped the surplus sale to utilities at 200 percent of the customer’s annual consumption. IRRC member Russ Faber says he doesn’t believe the authority exists to create such a cap.

Utility commission officials say they’re concerned that surplus sales could eventually inflate the cost of electricity. They say the cap would affect under 1 percent of the 10,000 electricity-generating customers.

The state Department of Environmental Protection opposed the cap and argued that it would curtail renewable energy use.

Related: Iowa politicians criticize EPA proposal on renewable fuels.

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