State & Stakeholder Newsletter, June 17, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Volume #8, Issue #12

Editor: Jane Pulaski


The IREC State & Stakeholder Newsletter tracks a range of market-oriented news, services and outreach tools valuable to the renewable energy community. This free newsletter is distributed semi-monthly to email subscribers and published on IREC’s website. If you have comments or if you would like to submit a news item, email Jane Pulaski.

If you want the best news about what’s going on in the states and cities, get IREC’s State & Stakeholder newsletter.

Thanks for reading.


In this Issue…

–State/Local Headlines (IREC States, SAI cities, Interconnection/Net Metering)

–Interview of the Week: Training students and instructors in renewable energy: Ulster BOCES has it figured out

–Current and Best Practices: City of Portland OR releases its solar map; offers free solar basics workshops

–irecusa.org Extra Extra: Register now for IREC’s Annual Meeting

–Grants/RFPs

–FYI

–Events

About this Newsletter/How to Subscribe


State/Local News

(1) ARIZONA – Utility Reduces Solar Rebates

At the beginning of June, SRP reduced the residential and commercial solar rebate levels. The per watt incentive level, as well as the incentive cap declined. SRP also reduced the cap for commercial solar water heating (see DSIRE record).

(2) KANSAS – New Incentive for Solar and Wind Manufacturers

Solar and wind manufacturers moving to Kansas or expanding operations in the state can now apply for up to $5 million in financing from the Department of Commerce. Companies receiving state financing must meet certain employment requirements and invest at least $30 million in the state (see DSIRE record).

(3) MAINE – Net Energy Billing Improved

Maine’s PUC issued an order amending net energy billing in early 2009 to allow shared ownership, subject to legislative approval. In April 2009, Gov. John Baldacci signed LD 336, authorizing final adoption of the rule after further amending it to include high efficiency micro-combined heat and power systems and increasing the capacity limit to 660 kW (see DSIRE record).

(4) MARYLAND – Maryland Energy Administration Revises Solar and Geothermal Incentive Levels

Maryland released revised rebate levels for FY 2010 applications. The revised PV incentive is $1.25/W for the first 4 kW, $1.00/W for the next 4 kW, and $0.50/W for the next 2 kW. The maximum incentive for solar water heaters has been reduced from $3,000 to $2,500 and geothermal incentives have been reduced from $1,000/ton to $500/ton (see DSIRE record for PV; see DSIRE record for geothermal).

(5) MASSACHUSETTS – The Department of Energy Resources Issues Final Renewable Portfolio Standards Rules

Massachusetts RPS rules have been finalized after several rounds of emergency regulations and went into effect June 12, 2009. The issue of on-site, in-state generation has not yet been addressed. The DOER stakeholder process that began June 10, 2009 will address this issue. See DSIRE for details on the Class I and Class II standards (see DSIRE record).

(6) MASSACHUSETTS – Commonwealth Wind Incentive Program Launched

The Commonwealth Wind Incentive Program is an overarching program containing three separate initiatives. The Micro Wind Initiative, formerly called the Small Renewables Initiative (SRI), provides rebates for wind systems under 10 kW following the 2-part rebate model.

Another part of the Commonwealth Wind Incentive Program is the Community-Scale Wind Initiative. This grant program supports private and public projects 100 kW and greater. The deadline for the initial round of funding (Block 1) was June 4, but Block 2 program guidelines should be available in July. Block 1 funding was competitive and future blocks will be non-competitive.

The third initiative is the Commercial Wind Initiative. This grant and loan program will be available to developers of multi-turbine commercial projects. Details on this program are not yet available. The projected budget for all three initiatives for FY 2009 through FY 2013 is approximately $39 million. It should be noted that the Large On-Site Renewables Initiative (LORI) is no longer active. (see DSIRE record for micro wind initiative; see DSIRE record for community-scale wind initiative).

(7) MINNESOTA – Solar Added to Xcel’s Wind Energy Standard

Minnesota’s RPS requires Xcel Energy to obtain 30% of its retail sales from renewable energy by 2020. The standard formerly included a wind energy “carve-out”, requiring wind energy to comprise at least 25% of retail sales by 2020. S.B. 550 revised this requirement to add solar energy as eligible for the wind energy “carve-out”. Solar is now permitted to comprise up to 1% of the 25% standard, although there remains no minimum solar requirement (see DSIRE record).

(8) NEVADA – Renewable Portfolio Standard and Solar Carve-out Increase

The Nevada Legislature increased the state’s renewable portfolio standard from 20% by 2015 to 25% by 2025. The bill also increased the solar carve-out from 1% to 1.5% (6% of the required 25%) [see DSIRE record].

(9) North Carolina – Cooperative Utility Providing Rebates for Solar Water Heating

Piedmont EMC is now offering $500 rebates for residential solar water heating (see DSIRE record).

(10) NEW YORK – NYSERDA Extends RPS Fuel Cell Incentive Program Deadline

The NYSERDA customer-sited fuel cell incentive program offers a capacity-based incentive and a performance incentive for fuel cell systems that qualify under the state RPS. The original solicitation was scheduled to expire May 29, 2009, but has now been extended to November 20, 2009. Of the original $11.2 million budget authorization, $3.73 million remains available for new applications (see DSIRE record).

(11) SOUTH DAKOTA – PUC Adopts Comprehensive Interconnection Standards

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission adopted comprehensive interconnection standards for distributed generation in May 2009. The new rules, which apply to customers of investor-owned utilities, established four levels of interconnection for systems up to 10 megawatts (MW) in capacity. The rules will take effect at the end of this month (see DSIRE record).

(12) TEXAS – CPS Energy Reopens Solar Rebate Programs

San Antonio’s municipal utility, CPS Energy, has reopened their rebate programs for residential and commercial PV and solar water heating systems. The maximum incentives for PV have been increased to $30,000 for residential systems (formerly $10,000) and $100,000 for commercial systems (formerly $50,000). The solar water heating incentive has been doubled from $0.30 to $0.60/kWh saved annually and the minimum rebate level has been removed (see DSIRE record for PV; see DSIRE record for solar water heating).

(13) TEXAS – Texas Utilities Open PV Rebate Pilot Programs

Texas New Mexico Power (TNMP) and Entergy Texas are now offering rebates for customer-sited PV systems. This pilot program offers a rebate of $2.50/W for the installation of PV systems. The programs are nearly identical in structure and each have a budget of $90,000 for the 2009 program year (see DSIRE record for Entergy Texas; see DSIRE record for TNMP).

(14) TEXAS – Year one report for TFIC now available

Texas Foundation for Innovative Communities (TFIC), a nonprofit corporation founded to create, The Texas Clean Energy Park, has just released its Year One Report, which includes summaries of:

  • TFIC’s green jobs initiative and the Clean Energy Park concept;
  • Outreach activities to the Central Texas clean energy community;
  • Efforts that could lead to national-level support and involvement from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and/or National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST);
  • Findings and specific recommendations to facilitate current workforce development efforts;
  • Strategy for sustaining the contribution of TFIC to the economic development of the Central Texas region, the region’s workforce resource agencies and training.

Contact Laurie Foss for a copy of the report and Year Two Proposal.

(15) VERMONT -Vermont Creates Feed-in-Tariff With Passage of The Energy Act of 2009

The Vermont Standard Offer for Qualifying SPEED Resources is a new feed-in-tariff that requires all Vermont retail electricity providers to purchase electricity generated by eligible renewable energy facilities. Electricity providers will enter into long-term contracts with fixed standard offer rates through the Sustainably Priced Energy Enterprise Development (SPEED) Program. Eligible facilities include solar, wind, biomass and hydropower facilities under 2.2 MW in capacity. Current standard offer rates vary depending on the technology and facility size and range from $0.30/kWh (solar) to the average residential rate. The Public Service Board (PSB) must evaluate these rates and may adjust them (see DSIRE record).

(16) VERMONT – The Public Service Board Issues Final Net Metering Rules

Vermont’s amended net metering rules became effective in April 2009. The amended rules increase the system capacity limit to 250 kW and include micro-CHP systems up to 20 kW as an eligible system type. The amendments also updated existing rules for group net metering (see DSIRE record).

(17) VERMONT – The Vermont Energy Act of 2009 Amends the Clean Energy Development Fund

The Clean energy Development Fund now supports projects that develop and use thermal or geothermal energy (see DSIRE record).

(18) VERMONT – The Vermont Energy Act of 2009 Establishes Renewable Energy Access Law

The passage of the Vermont Energy Act of 2009 created a renewable energy access law. This law forbids ordinances, deed restrictions, covenants, declarations or similar binding agreements from prohibiting the use of solar collectors, clotheslines and other renewables (see DSIRE record).

(19) VERMONT – The Vermont Energy Act of 2009 Amends the Business Solar Tax Credit

The 30% business solar tax credit (corporate) expires December 31, 2010 and reduces to a 7.2% tax credit beginning January 1, 2011 for individual taxpayers.. The legislation specified restrictions on receiving funding from the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund and taking the tax credit, as well as restrictions on taking the tax credit if receiving other public or private funding (see DSIRE record for corporate solar tax credit; see DSIRE record for personal solar tax credit).

(20) VERMONT – The Vermont Energy Act of 2009 Authorizes Municipal Clean Energy Financing

Vermont now authorizes towns, cities or incorporated villages to elect to provide financing to real property owners for renewable energy or eligible energy efficiency projects. The municipality must first designate a Clean Energy Assessment District, subject to voter approval. Interested eligible property owners would be able to opt-in via a contract with the municipality. The property owner would receive financing for the project that would be paid back on the owner’s property taxes. Municipalities adopting this financing program would be responsible for developing guidelines, securing financing and administering the program.

(21) WEST VIRGINIA – Residential Solar Tax Credit Established

In June 2009, West Virginia passed legislation authorizing a tax credit for residential solar installations. The tax credit is for 30% of the cost to purchase and install the system and is capped at $2,000. Eligible technologies include systems using solar energy to generate electricity, heat or cool a residence, or provide hot water or solar process heat for use in the residence. Solar systems for heating a pool or hot tub are not eligible (see DSIRE record).

(22) WISCONSIN – Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPSC) Opens Solar Buy-back Program

The WPSC solar buy-back program offers $0.25/kWh for 10 years for electricity produced by customer-sited PV systems. Participants receive a monthly credit on their utility bill, with payments issued if the balance exceeds $100. Individual systems are limited to 20 kW and overall program enrollment is capped at 300 kW (see DSIRE record).

(23) WISCONSIN – River Falls Municipal Utilities Offers Special Solar Purchase Tariff

River Falls Municipal Utilities, a member of WPPI Energy, Inc., now offers a $0.30/kWh for customer-sited solar systems up to 4 kW. The program is part of a PV power purchasing program offered by WPPI Energy to it member utilities. Overall program enrollment is capped at 10 kW, but may be increased to 30 kW if sufficient capacity exists under the parent WPPI Energy program (see DSIRE record).

(24) MREA Celebrates its 20th Birthday This Week

It was twenty years ago today…Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) held its first Energy Fair.


Interview of the Week: Training students and instructors in renewable energy: Ulster BOCES has it figured out

It was March 2005, when the Ulster County Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) Adult Career Education Center in upstate New York, thanks to a NYSERDA grant, began offering non-credit, solar energy training through its Photovoltaic Practitioner Institute.”What we’re learning,” said Carrig, “informs our current curriculum and is definitely shaping our future.” MORE


Current and Best Practices: City of Portland OR releases its solar map; offers free solar basics workshops

The City of Portland, Oregon, a Solar America City, along with Multnomah County, the U.S. Department of Energy and CH2M HILL, has completed the Oregon Clean Energy Map, an online map that highlights solar installations in the greater Portland area. MORE


irecusa.org Extra Extra! Register now for IREC’s Annual Meeting

Registration is now open for IREC’s 2009 Annual Meeting Workshop, scheduled for Monday, October 26th in Anaheim, California. MORE


Grants/RFPs

(25) New York Power Authority Request for Expressions of Interest

NYPA RFEI is seeking interest for up to 100 MW of on-site solar resources at numerous NYPA customer facilities to be designed, permitted, equipped, installed, operated, maintained (including materials and labor), and offered via 20-year power purchase agreements. Responses due 7/7/09. NYPA Contact: John Markowitz, fax: 914-681-6860.

(26) EPA Climate Showcase Communities

EPA announced the availability of up to $10 million in “Climate Showcase Communities” grants for local and tribal governments to establish and implement climate change initiatives. EPA expects to award approximately 30 cooperative agreements ranging from approximately $100,000 to $500,000. Approximately 5 percent of the funds ($500,000) are set aside

for tribal governments. Closing Date: July 22, 2009.

(27) Smart Grid Investments- Recovery Act

The U.S. Department of Energy announces its intent to request proposals for the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program. Through this program, DOE seeks to stimulate the rapid

deployment and integration of advanced digital technology that is needed to modernize the nation’s electric delivery network for enhanced operational intelligence and connectivity. The program will support projects that promote deployment, including development of component technologies. Individual award range anticipated to be $500K to $5 million. The RFP will open on or about 6/17/09. Three due dates anticipated: 7/29/09, 12/2/09, and 3/31/10. For more info, contact Donna Williams.

(28) USDA Invites Applications for REAP Grants, Loan Guarantees

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Program has issued a Notice of Solicitation of Applications for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The deadline to apply for grants and loan guarantees under this solicitation is July 31, 2009. Grants and loan guarantees will be awarded for investments in renewable energy systems, energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy feasibility studies. Eligible renewable energy projects include wind, solar, biomass and geothermal; and hydrogen derived from biomass or water using wind, solar or geothermal energy sources. Grants are limited to 25% of a proposed project’s cost; a loan guarantee may not exceed $25 million (see DSIRE record).

(29) NYSERDA Funding Opportunities

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has several Program Opportunity Notices (PONs) on the street. To see full details on any of these solicitations, visit the NYSERDA website and scroll through the listings to find them:

  • PON 1060, New York Energy Smart Loan Fundsm invites financial institutions to participate in and customers to apply for low interest financing for energy efficient improvements, new construction, and renewable technology projects. For information, contact NYSERDA at 866.NYSERDA or by email.

    Expiration: 7/31/09

(30) DOE’s State Energy Program

DOE requests proposals for the State Energy Program (SEP). This program provides formula grants to State and Territorial energy offices to design and carry out renewable energy and energy efficiency priorities. $25 million expected to be available, up to 56 awards anticipated. Due dates based on state/territorial program years. Closing date for applications: 8/01/09. For more info, contact Lisa Kuzniar.

(31) Texas: Energy Projects Pre-K to 12

First Choice Power requests applications for Classroom Energy Innovation Grant applications for Texas teachers. This program supports pre-K to 12 teachers working to incorporate projects on energy and energy efficiency in their classrooms. Individual grants NTE $2K. Responses due 9/15/09.

(32) We Energies Renewable Energy Research and Development (R&D) Grant Program

We Energies’ Renewable Energy Research and Development (R&D) Grant Program offers financial assistance through grants (up to a maximum award of $200,000) to conduct research on renewable energy technologies that results in the generation of electric energy, or to help demonstrate a renewable energy product associated with the production of renewable electricity. Grants are intended for research and development endeavors that will clearly advance a technology or product, and will clearly contribute positively to the renewable energy industry. Applications received on an on-going basis through 2009.

(33) DOE’s Green Power Network RFPs

A number of new renewables RFPs are posted at DOE’s Green Power Network. You can subscribe to receive RFP updates.

(34) NYSERDA Funding Opportunities

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has several Program Opportunity Notices (PONs) on the street. To see full details on any of these solicitations, visit the NYSERDA website and scroll through the listings to find them:

  • PON 1098,Wind Incentives for Eligible Installers is a first-come, first-served Financial Incentives for small wind systems that offset customers’ electric usage (end-use). For information, contact NYSERDA at 866.NYSERDA or by email. Expires 12/31/09 or until funds are fully committed, whichever comes first.
  • PON 1050: Solar Electric Incentive Program provides cash incentives for the installation of new Solar Electric or Photovoltaic (PV) systems by Eligible Installers. For information, contact NYSERDA at 866.NYSERDA or by email.

    Expiration: 12/31/09

  • PON 1176: Renewable, Clean Energy, and Energy Efficiency Product Manufacturing Incentive Program offers $10M to expand the level of manufacturing of renewable, clean, and energy-efficient products in New York State. Proposals will be accepted through June 30, 2011 by 5:00pm (ET) or until funds run out, whichever is first. Proposals will be evaluated on a first come, first served basis as they are received. Contact Jennifer Harvey at (518) 862-1090, ext. 3264 or jlh@nyserda.org.

(35) Smart Grid Demonstrations – Recovery Act

The U.S. Department of Energy announces its intent to request proposals for Smart Grid Demonstrations. Through this RFP, DOE seeks regionally unique demonstrations to verify smart grid technology viability, quantify smart grid costs and benefits, and validate new smart grid business models, at a scale that can be readily adapted and replicated around the country. Areas of interest include: Smart Grid Demonstrations, Synchrophasors, and Energy Storage. $615 million expected to be available, up to 36 awards anticipated. Closing date to be announced with release of RFP. For more info, contact Keith Carrington.

(36) Renewables Purchase – Southwest

The U.S. Department of the Navy announces its intent to request proposals for the purchase of competitively priced renewable electrical power through power purchase agreements at Naval and Marine Corps installations in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest AOR. The Navy seeks systems that are constructed, owned, operated, maintained and repaired by the successful offeror(s) on Government property located within the installation boundaries. Up to 5 awards anticipated. The RFP will be issued “within the next month.” For more info, visit https://www.fbo.gov/spg/DON/NAVFAC/N47408/N6258309R0085/listing.html, or contact Russell Dominy.


FYI

(37) Next IREC Telephone Seminar on June 23rd: State Solar Policy and Market Trends

The next IREC Webinar on Tuesday, June 23, at 2pm EDT (1pm CDT, noon MDT, 11am PDT, 10am Alaska, 8am Hawaii) will provide a summary of state policy trends and the resulting solar installations. Rusty Haynes of the N.C. Solar Center at N.C. State University will discuss state policies and trends based on research associated with the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE). Larry Sherwood of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. will discuss solar installations trends in states. Pre-registration is required.

(38) Registration and housing for Solar Power International 2009 Now Open

Register and make hotel reservations via SPI’s registration website. This year’s conference expects to draw more than 25,000, with 650+ exhibitors, top-notch keynote addresses, 200+ speakers, more than 65 breakout sessions and dozens of optional workshops.

(39) DOE loan guarantee application guidelines & procedures webinar TOMORROW

Many renewable energy projects have been stuck in financing purgatory since the onset of the credit crisis in Fall of 2008. With the guidelines and procedures being released by DOE, July will see an onslaught of applications flooding DOE. Will this create a logjam, and if so, how can you ensure your application is not only approved, but clears the process in a timely manner? How quickly will the government start writing guarantees? Register on line, or by phone at 818.888.4444 for tomorrow, June 18, 2009 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. EST.

(40) Deadline to apply for NABCEP fall exam is 7/17

The next NABCEP solar thermal and solar photovoltaic installer certification exams will be administered on Saturday, September 12, 2009. Application deadline for this test is Friday, July 17th. Applications received after the July 17th deadline will be considered for the March 2010 exam. Visit the NABCEP website for information.

(41) U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon: Solar Decathlon 2009

This brochure describes DOE’s 2009 Solar Decathlon competition which includes 20 universities. The universities will participate in 10 competitions and will demonstrate that we can live our modern lifestyle while using less energy (revised May 2009).

(42) The Corps Network looking for Green Credentials Manager

The Green Credentials Manager will be responsible for providing leadership for a new initiative, Green Pathways to Credential and Careers. This new, cutting edge Initiative seeks to identify the credentialed based systems and strategies that create pathways for low-income young adults to enter the emerging green economy, especially those that connect those young men and women to sustained post-secondary achievement and college degrees. For the full position description, visit The Corps Network website.

(43) The Prometheus Institute for Sustainable Development and GTM Research release three new market reports

  • Surviving the Shakeout: Winners and Losers in Crystalline Silicon PV, which takes a close look at crystalline silicon-based business models, detailing what it will take for a cell/module manufacturer to succeed over what is widely expected to be a challenging time for the industry.
  • Emerging PV Market Brief: France, which applies the our groundbreaking analytical framework to a study of the French PV market by taking a deep dive into the structure of the French energy sector, current and future PV policies and support programs, and PV project economics on Mainland France and the overseas departments. And,
  • The Coming Disruption in the Inverter Market – Distributed Inverter Architectures, which focuses on the new inverter architectures coming to market. New thinking in inverters by VC-funded entrepreneurs is challenging the conventional wisdom in solar installations with the potential for lower materials and labor cost and higher overall system conversion efficiencies.

(44) Virtual Energy Forum

The Virtual Energy Forum is a two day online-only event focused on how leading companies can adopt better energy management practices to cut costs, while at the same time adopting clean energy alternatives — presenting alternative energy technologies, policies, and best practices in a live, interactive environment. Speakers include Austin Energy’s Karl Rabago and Senior Director of EERE, Mark Ginsburg. Registration is free.

(45) New NREL Report on Feed-in Tariffs

This new NREL report, State Clean Energy Policies Analysis (SCEPA) Project: An Analysis of Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariffs in the United States, authored by Toby Couture (E3 analytics) and Karlynn Cory of NREL, defines what a FIT policy is, explores U.S. FIT policy design and highlights a few of the best practices in FIT policy design. It also explores how FITs can be used to target state policy goals and examines policy interactions with other RE policies. An overview of FIT impacts (jobs, economic development) in Europe is included. For the week of June 12th, a feature story on NREL’s homepage will highlight NREL’s work analyzing FIT policies. Other renweable energy policies are covered in the SCEPA series

(46) Montana Green Power Newsletter

This monthly newsletter is produced by Montana Green Power and highlights renewable energy activities in Montana. Montana Green Power website has detailed information about renewable energy activities in Montana.

(47) ASES National Solar Tour

The American Solar Energy Society has launched an online registration tool to help communities across the U.S. participate in the National Solar Tour.

(48) DOE Issues RFI for Solar Policy and Analysis Regional Centers

The Solar Policy and Analysis Regional Centers RFI seeks input on a proposed strategy of creating Solar Policy and Analysis Regional Centers around the country that would fill the need for timely local and regional policy research and analysis supporting solar commercialization.

(49) News from DOE Re ARRA

James Ferguson, States Coordinator, Eastern States, National Energy Technology Laboratory, tell us that the the two most recent editions of the Solicitations newsletter, issues #189 and #188, include recent funding opportunities for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability projects. He also gave us the following resources for The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), also known as the Recovery Act:

(50) Tribal Business Development and Project Financing & Optional One-Day Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Training

There are two upcoming workshops for tribal leaders, staff and other interested parties to understand the range of energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities that exist within their communities. The Business Development and Project Financing workshop, June 23-25, 2009, is designed to identify the business structures, financing methods, and legal and institutional frameworks needed to bring projects to reality. The one-day renewable energy and energy efficiency training, June 23, 2009, will help attendees develop an outline for a tribal strategic plan and will explore how energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies can be used to meet tribal objectives. Both workshops will be held in Denver.


EVENTS Calendar

For a more complete listing of events, click the calendar icon on the IREC home page.


About this Newsletter/How to Subscribe

The State & Stakeholder Newsletter is published electronically on a semi-monthly basis by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc.. To subscribe to this newsletter, click here and follow the instructions. There is no fee for subscriptions. If you have comments or news items, please send them to Jane Pulaski.

Disclaimer: The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) does not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product or process that is referred to or linked to in this newsletter. Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply IREC’s endorsement or recommendation.

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