MO Commission Stiffles Alternative Power Generation

The people of Missouri have gotten on board with generating energy via wind and solar technologies.  Their Easy Connection Act is a law specifically intended to promote alternative energy solutions.  just as the people of Missouri  are climbing on board, though, the Missouri Public Service Commission imposed a regulation which would most certainly stop homeowners’ and small businesses’ efforts dead in its tracks.

The MO Public Service Commission (MPSC) has instituted a requirement that anyone who generates less than 10 kilowatts must carry $100,000 in liability insurance, while those generating 10 to 100 kilowatts must carry 1 million dollars in liabiliity insurance.  This requirement goes directly against the spirit and intent of the state’s “Easy Connection Act,” which encourages generating power by harnessing solar and wind, and prescribes the crediting of electricity put back into the grid.  Obviously, whatever the cost of such insurance, it would drive people away from generating their own electricity by forcing them to incur a recurring annual insurance which could very well be more costly than the value of the electricity generated.

Missouri Renew, the citizen’s action group which pushed for the Easy Connect Act, has filed suit against the MPSC.  They cite that there has been no incident of loss, no lawsuit, and that there is no basis for the requirement.  The Commission counters that they want to be protected in case someone is harmed while messing with the connection box.

If the state wants to be protected, perhaps it should be the one purchasing the policy.  It’s certainly not a realistic concern, and obviously moves in direct conflict with responsible generation of electricity.  We’re forced to wonder whose side the Commission is on.

The MPSC can be reached at 573-751-3234, by email at: pscinfo@psc.mo.gov, or by mail to the Public Service Commission, Governor Office Bldg, 200 Madison Street, PO Box 360, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0360.  The Commissioners are: Chairman Jeff Davis, Connie Murray, Robert Clayton III, Terry Jarrett, and Kevin Dunn.

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