State & Stakeholder Newsletter, November 19, 2008

Thursday, November 19, 2008

Volume #7, Issue #23

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: SEPA’s Julia Judd Hamm Talks with IREC About Solar Power International 2008

–Current and Best Practices: Solar Showcase Named Texas Renewable Energy Project of the Year

–irecusa.org Extra: Tennessee Renewable Energy and Economic Development Council Formed; Focus on Cellulosic Ethanol and Biodiesel

–Grants/RFPs

–FYI

–Events

About this Newsletter/How to Subscribe


State/Local News

(1) CALIFORINA: Berkeley Launches Innovative Solar Financing Pilot Program

The Berkeley Financing Initiative for Renewable and Solar Technologies (FIRST) program allows property owners to borrow money from the city to pay for the cost of installing a PV system. The loan is paid back over 20 years through an increase in property taxes. The application period for the initial pilot program began November 5, 2008, and will end November 19, 2008. The city expects to finance 40 systems through the initial pilot program. If the pilot program is successful, the city hopes to expand it into a more permanent program (recent DSIRE record).

(2) COLORADO: Winning Local Partners for New Round of Solar Rebates to be Chosen

The Colorado Governor’s Energy Office is providing matching grants to non-profits, local governments and utilities to provide rebates for solar. The pilot program began in April 2008, with grants awarded to 11 groups to administer residential photovoltaic (PV) rebates, and to 11 groups to administer residential solar water-heating rebates. The second round of grants has been expanded to include funding for commercial PV and solar water-heating rebates, and rebates for homeowners to re-commission older solar water heating systems that have fallen into disrepair. Local partners for this second round of grants will be selected November 15, 2008. The new rebate programs will begin in January 2009 (recent DSIRE records: solar water heating rebates; PV rebates).

(3) FLORIDA: Voters Approve Change to Renewables Property Tax Exemption

In June 2008, Florida enacted legislation that revived a renewable energy property tax exemption that had previously expired in 1990. Under Florida law, improved real property upon which a renewable energy source device is installed and operated is entitled to an exemption in the amount of the original cost of the device, including the installation cost. Under this law, the exemption will not be authorized for more than 10 years. On November 4, 2008, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment that will impact this law. The amendment removes the 10-year limit and restricts the scope to residential property — potentially leaving renewable energy devices installed on business properties without a property tax exemption (recent DSIRE record).

(4) MASSACHUSETTS: State Offers Model By-Law for Small Wind

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) have issued a model by-law to help cities and towns establish reasonable standards for small wind-energy development. This model applies to stand-alone wind facilities up to 60 kilowatts (kW) in capacity. (Massachusetts has also developed a model ordinance to provide guidance to local governments seeking to develop their own siting rules for wind turbines.) (see DSIRE record).

(5) MINNESOTA: PV Rebate Program Funds Fully Reserved

Funds available from the Minnesota Solar-Electric Rebate Program are now fully reserved. The Minnesota Office of Energy Security (OES) has established a waiting list and will continue to accept applications, pending additional funding (recent DSIRE record).

(6) MISSOURI: RPS Established by Ballot Initiative

Missouri’s new renewable portfolio standard (RPS), approved by voters on November 4, 2008, requires the state’s investor-owned electric utilities to procure 15% of their retail electricity sales from renewables by 2021 — and 0.3% from solar energy. The RPS replaces the state’s former voluntary renewable energy goal of 11% by 2020. The new law also requires utilities to offer rebates of at least $2 per watt for solar-electric systems beginning in 2010 (recent DSIRE record).

(7) MISSOURI: PSC Adopts Final Standards for Net Metering,

Interconnection Standards

The Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) has issued an order implementing provisions of S.B. 54, enacted in June 2007. This order offers clarification on the rate that customer-generators will receive for net excess generation (NEG) and minimum liability insurance requirements for generators of various sizes (recent DSIRE record for Net Metering; DSIRE record for Interconnection Standards).

(8) NEW YORK: Fresh Funding for PV Rebates

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) added $20.6 million to support rebates for photovoltaic (PV) systems, raising total program funding in 2008 and 2009 to $38.8 million (see DSIRE record).

(9) OHIO: Net Metering for Hospitals Clarified

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has issued a final rulemaking order updating the state’s net metering rules pursuant to legislative changes made by S.B. 221 in May 2008. Hospital-based systems are no longer subject to maximum capacity limits, and hospitals may take service under an entirely separate tariff than other net-metered customers (recent DSIRE record).

(10) UTAH: Sales Tax Exemption for Renewables Extended 10 Years

Utah has extended by 10 years an exemption from the state sales tax for certain renewable-energy systems larger than 20 kilowatts (kW) in capacity. Eligible renewables include wind, solar, biomass, landfill gas, anaerobic digestion, hydroelectricity and geothermal energy. The exemption is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2019 (recent DSIRE record).

(11) VERMONT: DPS Funds Two Solar Projects for $325K

The Vermont Department of Public Service awarded $125,000 on the Southern Vermont Health and Recreation Center for solar panels on its facility and $200,000 on Central Vermont Public Service Corp. for a planned solar power development on Route 7.


Interview of the Week: Julia Judd Hamm Talks with IREC about Solar Power International 2008

If you attended the 2008 annual Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) conference in San Diego– put on in partnership with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) &ndash, you were among the 23,000 people who showed up to hear Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and walk through 422 exhibitions loaded with the latest technological advances in hardware, software, and other supporting solar industries. I asked Julia how it’s been to ride the upsurge. MORE


Current and Best Practices: Solar Showcase Named Texas Renewable Energy Project of the Year

The border solar showcase developed in the city of San Benito, Texas, has been selected as the Texas renewable energy project of the year. The 45 kW project is the largest solar-powered project on the Texas-Mexico border, at the city’s new water treatment facility. MORE


irecusa.org Extra: Tennessee Renewable Energy and Economic Development Council Formed; Focus on Cellulosic Ethanol and Biodiesel

University of Tennessee’s Institute for Public Service consultants and several city mayors have formed the Tennessee Renewable Energy and Economic Development Council, a non-profit organization promoting renewable energy opportunities for rural economic development in Tennessee. MORE


Grants/RFPs

(12) Photovoltaic Supply Chain and Cross-Cutting Technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy requests proposals for Photovoltaic Supply Chain and Cross Cutting Technologies. Through this RFP, DOE seeks to identify and accelerate the development of unique products or processes that are expected to have a large impact on the industry, or a segment of the industry. Topics include: 1) Proof of Concept Technical/Feasibility Assessment, and 2) RD&D. Award range $150K to $3 million, up to 14 awards anticipated. Responses due 1/7/09. For more info. Refer to Sol# DE-PS36-09GO99003. (Grants.gov 10/21/08)

(13) National Geothermal Database

The U.S. Department of Energy requests proposals for the National Geothermal Database Grant. Through this RFP, DOE seeks the creation of a web-based National Geothermal Database that will serve as a central repository for all publicly accessible geothermal data. $5 million expected to be available, 1 award anticipated. Responses due 2/3/09. For more info, contact Pete Simon, or click here. Refer to Sol# DE-PS36-08GO98020. (Grants.gov 9/29/08)

(14) Environmental Education Grants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requests proposals for Environmental Education Grants. This program supports environmental education projects that promote environmental stewardship and help develop knowledgeable and responsible students, teachers, and citizens. $3 million expected to be available, up to 95 awards anticipated. Responses due 12/18/08. For more info, including Regional contacts, click here. Refer to Sol# EPA-EE-09-02. (Grants.gov 11/6/08)

(15) Middle School Sustainability Challenge

The Siemens Foundation invites middle school students to participate in the We Can Change the World Challenge. Through this national sustainability education initiative, students are challenged to create sustainable, reproducible environmental improvements in their local communities. Awards include, but are not limited to, Savings Bonds, TV appearances, cameras, and travel. Responses due 3/15/09. For more info, click here.

(16) SMUD Releases Request for Offers for Carbon Offsets

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) released a Request for Offers (RFO) for 45,000 tonnes of carbon offsets to be delivered annually beginning in 2010. SMUD hosted a Bidders Conference and Carbon Offset Project Development Workshop at SMUD on November 3, 2008 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Interested parties can download the RFO documents from SMUD’s Electronic Bid SolicitationSystem (EBSS) web site. Registration to the EBSS site is required to access the documents. Proposals will be due mid-December 2008.

(17) ORCA Announces $500K Renewable Energy Demo Grant Program; Workshops SetThe Texas Office of Rural Community Affairs (ORCA) is offering another $500K grant round in ’09 under its Renewable Energy Demo Program and has already held two briefing workshops on the grant process. Priority will be given to projects tied to providing water treatment or wastewater treatment services. Deadline for applications is 2/27/09. For more information, contact Travis Brown, ORCA, 512.936.7878

(18) Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant (TMLP) Issues Renewable RFP

TMLP municipal electric utility located in Taunton, Massachusetts, has issued an RFP for renewable electric power resources through Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) which offer an ownership option, or through TMLP’s standard PPAs. TMLP is seeking proposals for up to 260,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) per year of energy and dependable capacity starting in 2009. The renewable resources must be sustainable over the long term. TMLP’s renewable portfolio goal may reach 600,000 MWh per year by 2030. The minimum size for non-hydroelectric projects in response to this solicitation is 1 MW. A pre-proposal conference was held on August 14, 2008. Questions were due August 28, 2008. All proposals are due December 1, 2008.

(19) USDOE Issues RFP for Federal Loan Guarantees for EE, RE and T&D Technologoies

The US DOE requests proposals for Federal Loan Guarantees for Projects that Employ Innovative Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, and Advanced Transmission and Distribution Technologies. DOE seeks projects related to biomass, geothermal, solar, wind energy, hydropower, alternative fuel vehicles, energy efficiency, energy efficient building technologies and efficient electricity transmission, distribution, and storage. DOE intends to issue loan guarantees for stand-alone projects and projects related to manufacturing technologies and the large-scale integration of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage technologies into the electrical grid. $10 billion expected to be available. The guarantees can be issued for loans of up to 80% of total project cost. Applications due 12/31/08.

(20) Renewables RFPs

A number of new renewables RFPs are posted at DOE’s Green Power Network. Scroll down to sign up to receive RFP updates.

(21) 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 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 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

  • 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 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.
  • PON 1200: Environmentally Preferred Power Systems & Energy Storage Technologies offers $12M for two rounds and four categories. Deadline for Round 1, proposals has expired; for Round 2, proposals are due January 14, 2009, 5 p.m. EST.

FYI

(22) Deadline for Abstracts for ASES 09 Extended to November 24

You’re in luck; ASES has extended the deadline for abstracts and proposals for the 2009 Conference in Buffalo, NY in May. Instructions on how to submit, along with an example of an excellent abstract are on the ASES 09 conference website.

(23) New Ideas in Educating a Workforce In Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency: 3rd National Conference Set for November 18-20, 2009, Albany, NY

The dates are set for the third national conference on workforce education in the renewable energy and energy efficiency fields – November 18 – 20, 2009. The conference will offer the most current information on instructional strategies, curricula development, and best practices for training.


EVENTS Calendar

(24) Nov 19 Small Wind Turbine Permitting Ordinance Workshop by Washoe County Community Development Dept., Reno, NV. Contact Bill Whitney
(25) Nov 24 Natrona County Development Dept., Casper, WY, public meeting to determine the level of support for changing the Mountain Residential 1 & 2 zoning districts from conditional to permitted use for small wind energy systems
(26) Dec 5-6 Solar Energy: Focus 2009 Chesapeake Region, Annapolis
(27) Mar 6-7, 2009 Sustainability and Energy Expo 2009, Tucson
(28) Mar 10-12 NESEA Building Energy 2009, Boston’s Seaport World Trade Center, Boston, MA


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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