When Richmond, Vt., businessman Jeff Forward petitioned the city to put a 100-kilowatt solar array on his condominium development, the project was put on an indefinite hold. Vermont has once again reached its renewable energy cap, which was just nearly quadrupled from 4% to 15% less than two years ago.
Homeowners and small businesses are having to wait to add renewable energy technology such as solar panels until the state can figure out how to balance the amount renewable energy hitting the market with the utilities' business needs.
"The current policy is clearly not sustainable," said Christine Hallquist, the CEO of the Vermont Electric Cooperative which serves about 32,000 mostly rural members across the northern part of the state and has hit the 15 percent cap and isn't taking new solar projects. "The idea of paying above market (prices) continues to pile those costs upon those remaining folks who don't have net metering. If you don't create the right price it's just going to continue to raise the price for others."