July 24, 2007
New Connecting to the Grid Guide Released
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has issued the 5th edition of its Connecting to the Grid guide. The report and survey addresses new and lingering interconnection issues relevant to all distributed generation (DG) technologies. The guide hopes to assist state regulators and other government officials, as well as utility representatives, DG stakeholders and consumers interested in the development of state-level interconnection standards.
"Government and consumer interest in renewables and other forms of clean DG is accelerating dramatically," said Jane Weissman, executive director of IREC. "IREC feels it's critical to provide an up-to- date, concise and informed resource on interconnection issues for those who are writing the rules of the game, and for those who want a clearer understanding of gaining access to our electric grid."
The lack of uniform interconnection standards significantly complicates the interconnection process and historically has deterred the deployment of customer-sited DG. On the other hand, well-designed uniform interconnection standards facilitate the deployment of renewables and other forms of DG by specifying the technical and institutional requirements and terms by which utilities and DG system owners must abide. For example, New Jersey's standards for interconnection and net metering have shown that when barriers are removed and adequate financial incentives are available, solar installations explode. Approximately 3,000 photovoltaic (PV) systems have been installed in New Jersey since 2004, catapulting the state into second place nationally.
The Connecting to the Grid guide includes discussions of:
Technical issues related to DG interconnection, such as safety, power quality, and national codes and standards; Legal and procedural issues, such as insurance requirements, standard form agreements and recent trends in state-policy development; Net-metering issues, such as the ownership of renewable-energy credits and the rapid evolution of state policy in the absence of federal guidance; and Electrical and building inspectors.
In addition, IREC's Connecting to the Grid guide includes a description of IREC's model interconnection standards for generators up to 10 megawatts (MW) and IREC's model net-metering rules for generators up to 2 MW in capacity. IREC's model rules promote what it believes are the best practices developed by states, government entities and other non-governmental organizations.
New Rules Project - Designing Rules As If Community Matters on August 3, 2007, 5:00amfrom
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
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Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
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Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)