State & Stakeholder Newsletter, Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Volume #8, Issue #18

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)

–Solar America City/San Diego: Top city in CA with most solar roofs according to new report

–Newsmaker Interview: Michael Kuhn: ISPQ Master Trainer, NABCEP Certified PV Installer, Recent Newly-Wed

–irecusa.org Extra Extra: IREC Featured in September/October 2009 Issue of Solar Today

–Grants/RFPs

–FYI

–Events

About this Newsletter/How to Subscribe


State/Local News

(1) COLORADO – PUC Adopts Emergency Net Metering Rules

Earlier in 2009, SB 51 was signed, making changes to Colorado’s net metering rules for solar electric systems. This bill took effect September 1, 2009, however the rules have not yet been finalized. To address this, the PUC adopted emergency rules for net metering while they continue working toward the final rules. The changes enacted by SB 51 include switching from a capacity-based system size limit to a limit of 120% of the site’s average annual consumption and allowing for indefinite rollover of net excess generation (see DSIRE record).

(2) COLORADO – Xcel and Black Hills Energy Modify Solar Incentives

Existing state law requires the state’s two investor-owned utilities to offer rebates of at least $2/W for PV systems, plus a separate standard offer renewable energy credit (REC) payment for systems up to 100 kW. SB 51 of 2009 amended the law to require a standard offer REC payment for systems up to 500 kW, and allows third party owned systems to qualify for incentives. Xcel and Black Hills Energy have updated their PV rebate programs, effective September 1, 2009. Xcel added a new tier for systems between 100 kW and 500 kW, and Black Hills reduced their upfront REC payment for systems up to 10 kW from $2.50/W to $1.50/W (see DSIRE record: Xcel; see DSIRE record: Black Hills).

(3) GEORGIA – PSC Approves Increase in Cap for Georgia Power Solar Buyback Program

Georgia Power’s Solar Buyback Program was previously capped at 500 kW and was fully subscribed. In July 2009, the Georgia Public Service Commission approved a tariff extending this program and allowing an additional 1 MW in capacity. Under this program, Georgia Power purchases electricity from photovoltaic (PV) systems at a rate of 18.31 cents per kWh, up to an aggregate capacity of 1 MW (see DSIRE record).

(4) ILLINOIS – Community Renewable Energy Grant Program Opens Using ARRA Funding

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is providing $5 million dollars worth of grants to public entities, for-profit entities, and non-profit entities for community renewable energy projects that provide energy for the applicants’ own energy needs. Eligible projects include solar, wind and other renewable energy projects. The deadline for applying is October 26, 2009. This grant program is utilizing funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) (see DSIRE record).

(5) MARYLAND – Maryland Solar Energy Grant Program Revises Incentive Levels

As of September 1, 2009, the Maryland Solar Energy Grant Program incentive levels have changed. The program offers an incentive of $1.25/W for the first 2 kW of rated capacity, $0.75/W for the next 6 kW, and $0.25/W for the next 12 kW (see DSIRE record)

(6) MASSACHUSETTS – Clean Energy Choice Program Discontinued

The Clean Energy Choice program, launched in October 2004, ended as of June 30, 2009. Communities have until November 30, 2009 to apply for any funds accrued through the program end date. The total municipal account balance is over $2 million; Massachusetts communities are encouraged to check to see if they have a balance and if so, submit a Final Matching Grant Application and support local clean energy initiatives (see DSIRE record).

(7) MASSACHUSETTS – Net Metering Model Tariff Issued

Net metering customers throughout Massachusetts are subject to a model tariff. In creating the net metering model tariff, the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) also amended the interconnection model tariff. Any net metering customer applying for interconnection must complete “Schedule Z” as part of their application (see DSIRE record).

(8) MICHIGAN – DTE Energy Opens Solar Currents Incentive Program

The DTE Solar Currents Program will provide a combination of rebates and production incentives for new and existing PV systems installed by DTE Energy electric customers. The program offers an upfront rebate of $2.40/W for systems installed after January 1, 2009 and reduced rebates for qualifying existing systems installed between January 1, 2005 and January 1, 2009. The production incentive portion of the program provides payments of $0.11/kWh for RECs produced by the system over a 20-year contract period with the utility. The total program budget is $25 million (see DSIRE record).

(9) NORTH CAROLINA – State Tax Credit Extended and Expanded

HB 512 was signed on August 28, 2009 and extended the expiration date for North Carolina’s 35% tax credit for renewable energy systems to 12/31/2016. The bill also added geothermal heat pumps to the list of eligible equipment, with a cap on residential systems of $8,400 and $2.5 million for non-residential systems. The bill also allows the credit to be applied to the gross premiums tax, which is a tax paid by the insurance industry, and should provide more opportunity for project financing (see DSIRE record/Corporate Tax Credit: see DSIRE record/Personal tax credit)

(10) NORTH CAROLINA – Legislation Requires PUC to Adopt a REC Tracking Platform for North Carolina’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard

In 2007, the NC General Assembly adopted a renewable energy and energy efficiency portfolio standard (REPS). In their final rules to implement the REPS, the PUC stated the benefit of a computerized REC trading platform, but declined to adopt one. SB 960, passed in August 2009, requires the PUC to develop, implement and maintain an online tracking platform to verify utility compliance and facilitate the establishment of a market for the purchase and sale of RECs. The commission must develop this platform by July 1, 2010 (see DSIRE record).

(11) NORTH CAROLINA – Cities and Counties Authorized to Adopt Financing Programs for Energy Projects

The NC General Assembly passed legislation allowing cities and counties to use their general funds or money from the federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants to establish revolving loan programs for residential and commercial energy projects. Loan repayments, including interest, will be fed back into the loan fund, allowing the loan program to continue after the initial program funding has been used (see DSIRE record).

(12) TEXAS – Austin Community College Awarded Grant to Train Women for Green Jobs

The U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau has awarded the Austin Community College District (ACC) a $59,800 grant to recruit women into renewable energy training programs.

(13) WISCONSIN – Effective Date of Renewable Energy Sales and Use Tax Exemption Pushed Back

In 2007, the Wisconsin legislature enacted an exemption from sales and use taxes for solar, wind, and anaerobic digester systems. The exemption was originally intended to take effect July 1, 2009, but has been amended by new legislation which pushed back the effective date to July 1, 2011. A separate exemption that applies to sales of biomass as a fuel source for residences and businesses remains in effect (see DSIRE record).


Solar America City/San Diego: Top city in CA with most solar roofs according to new report

A recent report from Environment California places San Diego first in the state with the most number of solar roofs installed at 2,300. MORE


Newsmaker Interview: Michael Kuhn: ISPQ Master Trainer, NABCEP Certified PV Installer, Recent Newly-Wed

I’ve only known Michael for a few years, but in that short time, he’s moved so quickly into solar PV training that it’s hard to believe he’s not been at it for decades. MORE


irecusa.org Extra Extra! IREC featued in September/October 2009 issue of Solar Today

‘Solar Training in the Inner City” is the cover story of the September/October 2009 issue of Solar Today. IREC’s Jane Weissman and Dr. Barbara Martin have articles about credentialing and training programs in this issue. Jim Dunlop writes about the qualified installer. MORE


Grants/RFPs

(14) INDIANA – RFP Issued for Alternative Power & Energy Grant Program

The Indiana Office of Energy and Defense Development has issued their annual request for proposals for the Alternative Power & Energy Grant Program. This year, projects targeted are those that use solar hot water, solar electric, wind power, or biomass energy. The total budget for this program is $800,000 for FY2010, more than double the FY2009 budget of $300,000. Proposals will be accepted through September 25, 2009. Individual projects may receive up to $50,000 and all projects must provide 50% cost share. The proposals will be evaluated on number of jobs created, energy produced per dollar spent, environmental benefits, and the ability to start/install the energy system by May 31, 2010 (see DSIRE record).

(15) MICHIGAN – RFP Issued for Biomass Energy Program Grants

The Michigan Biomass Energy Program provides funding for bioenergy and biofuels projects through periodic request for proposals (RFPs). The Michigan Energy Office is currently accepting applications for demonstration projects that contribute to the deployment or enhanced performance of fully commercialized biomass energy technologies. The RFP will provide up to $24,950 per project, subject to a 1:1 matching funds requirement. The application deadline is September 18, 2009 (see DSIRE record).

(16) North Carolina Energy Office announces RFP under ARRA for green economy

Two Requests for Proposals under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help grow North Carolina’s green economy and create jobs have been released. The first seeks technical assistance services for preliminary energy surveys, detailed system level surveys, creation of an energy plan with project submittal, monitoring and verifying project results. Proposals due Thursday, September 14, 2009 at 2 PM ET. The second seeks proposals for the installation of solar, wind, biomass, and hydropower systems that use commercially available technologies. Proposals due Monday, September 21, 2009 at 2 pm ET.

(17) U. S. Dept. of Energy PV Manfacturing Incentive

The PV Manufacturing Initiative is intended to coordinate stakeholders and technology development efforts across the solar community to facilitate the development of a strong PV manufacturing industry in the United States. Applications due 9/30. The primary goals of this initiative include supporting the creation of a robust United States-based PV manufacturing technology including infrastructure and supply chain base, developing a highly trained workforce with the critical skills required to meet the needs of a rapidly growing industry, and speeding the implementation of new cutting edge technologies. Three separate models are currently under consideration: (1) university-led consortia guided by industry that would conduct industry-relevant manufacturing research projects; (2) collaborative industry-led consortia that will develop and implement manufacturing research projects with shared intellectual property (IP); and (3) manufacturing development efforts, possibly implemented through common facilities, for equipment and process development with individual companies maintaining exclusive ownership of IP.


FYI

(18) 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, will pay special attention to key topics for IREC members, state stakeholders and the industry.

(19) IREC thanks its 2009 Annual Meeting Sponsors

IREC wishes to thank these very generous sponsors for our 2009 Annual Meeting scheduled for Monday, October 26 in Anaheim:

  • We Energies
  • OUC

(20) 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.

(21) IREC Updates its University Directory and Renewable Energy Training Catalog

Pat Fox, IREC’s newest team member focused on workforce development issues, has been working on updating the information on this section of our website and expanding the features available within the Training Catalog and the University Directory.

(22) CUNY to convene NYC Solar Summit 2009 on Friday, 9/25/09

New York City, a Solar America City, is aggressively pursuing a strategic plan coordinated by CUNY to accelerate New York City’s Solar Market. With NYC now among the nation’s leaders in offering solar incentives and over 100 MW of solar installations recently announced in NYS, a maximum capacity audience is expected as CUNY present the leaders who have addressed the barriers and are implementing NYC’s solar future. NYC Solar Summit 2009 will be at John Jay College in Manhattan on Friday September 25, 2009. NYC Solar Summit Agenda & Registration.

(23) SEPA to offer Feed-in Tariff Design: Lessons Learned” webinar on 9/15

Feed-in tariffs (FITs) are emerging as an alternative to cash rebate programs for a variety of reasons. As SEPA recently learned on a fact-finding mission to Spain, they can significantly expand a market rapidly, but at the same time cause problems or concerns depending on their structure. Many of these programs have then adjusted their approach after the initial roll-out in both minor and major ways. This webinar will feature perspectives from Ed Regan of Gainesville Regional Utilities-a Florida. The webinar is free to SEPA Members and Media. Fee for others: $125.

(24) Wisconsin’s Solar Decade

The fifth year for the Wisconsin Solar Decade Conference will held on Friday, October 2, 2009 at the Midwest Airline Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sponsored by Focus on Energy, We Energies, and Wisconsin Green Building Alliance. Online registration open.

(25) Clean Energy Group and Smart Power to host webinar on 9/22

Clean Energy Group and SmartPower invite you to attend their upcoming webinar on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 1 pm EDT for a briefing on Smart Solar Marketing Strategies, a new report from Clean Energy Group and SmartPower. To register, send an email to Maria@cleanegroup.org with “Solar Marketing Webinar” in the subject line and include your contact information.. The call in information will be provided at that time.

(26) Survey on Electric Industry Restructuring

Distributed Energy Financial Group, LLC (DEFG) conducts surveys on energy markets and customer behavior. This survey collects facts and opinions regarding restructured markets for commercial and industrial customers. The survey focuses on restructured electric markets, and includes questions relating to value-added services such as energy efficiency and distributed energy resources. One benefit of your participation is that you will receive a free summary of all responses. The summary will contain useful insights from hundreds of respondents. Deadline to submit responses is September 16, 2009.

(27) 14th annual National Solar Tour October 3rd

The 2009 National Solar Tour features open-house tours of solar powered and energy efficient homes in some 3,000 communities in 48 states across the U.S. This is the world’s largest grassroots solar event. Find a solar tour near you.


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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