State & Stakeholder Newsletter, December 17, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Volume #7, Issue #25

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: Solar America City–New Orleans: Building a Green Workforce in the Crescent City

–Current and Best Practices: San Antonio’s City Public Service Energy Hosts Solar Practitioner Seminar

–irecusa.org Extra: Governor Kaine Announces ‘Renew Virginia’ Initiative

–Grants/RFPs

–FYI

–Events

About this Newsletter/How to Subscribe


State/Local News

(1) COLORADO: Local Solar Rebate Programs Receive Fresh Funding

CoSEIA has awarded the second round of matching grants on behalf of the Governor’s Energy Office to numerous local utilities, municipalities and non-profit organizations to administer their own solar rebate programs. Local rebate programs now exist throughout Colorado for residential and commercial PV and solar water heating systems, including several programs that help fund repairs to orphaned solar water and space heating systems. (view DSIRE records: PV and solar hot water heating systems)

(2) CONNECTICUT: PV Rebate Funding Exhausted

The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) has announced that it is no longer accepting rebate applications for residential photovoltaic (PV) systems. It is not clear when additional funding will become available. (The CCEF announced previously that rebate levels would be reduced on January 1, 2009, due to the recent extension and expansion of the 30% federal tax credit for residential PV systems.) (view DSIRE record)

(3) CONNECTICUT: CCEF Provides Fresh Funding for Community Micro-Grants

The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) has made $300,000 in fresh funding available to support the Community Innovations Grants Program, which began as a pilot program in June 2006. This program provides micro-grants ranging from $1,000 to $4,000 to communities to increase voluntary support for clean energy and to build model sustainable communities. (view DSIRE record)

(4) MARYLAND – Montgomery County Clean Energy Rewards Program Revised, Expanded

The Clean Energy Rewards program currently offers Montgomery County residents and businesses a 0.5 cent per kilowatt-hour rebate (reduced from prior years) on certain voluntary green energy purchases, offsetting 15-25% of the incremental cost of purchasing green energy. The program budget was also increased by $200,000 to $561,000 through June 2009. (view DSIRE record)

(5) MICHIGAN – Grants Available for Biomass Energy Workshops and Events

The Michigan Biomass Energy Program (MBEP) is accepting grant applications for workshops and events that support the production, commercialization, and use of biomass in the state. Grants of up to $2,500 are available for events taking place between October 1, 2008 and June 15, 2009. (view DSIRE record)

(6) MINNESOTA – PUC Order Clarifies Compliance Requirements for the State Renewable Energy Objective

A December 3, 2008 PUC order requires utilities to annually retire renewable energy credits (RECs) equivalent to 1% of their annual retail sales from 2007-2009 in order to comply with the state’s “good faith” renewable energy objective. The statutory language of the renewable energy objective does not define firm compliance benchmarks for these years. The order also sets annual compliance reporting requirements for covered utilities.

(view DSIRE record)

(7) OREGON: Green Job of the Day: Jobs at the Oregon Dept. of Energy

Green Job of the Day is a feature of Green Collar Blog which highlights a job opening pertaining to environmental or social responsibility.

(8) SOUTH CAROLINA: Palmetto Clean Energy Offers Production Incentives to SC Renewable Energy Producers

Palmetto Clean Energy (PaCE), offers production premium payments for electricity generated by grid-tied solar and wind-energy systems to customers of participating utilities. PaCE is currently accepting applications from small wind and solar generators rated 5 kilowatts (kW) or less. In the future, geothermal and small scale hydro may be added as well. (view DSIRE record)


Interview of the Week: Solar America City–New Orleans: Building a Green Workforce in the Crescent City

For me, New Orleans conjures up aromas of French Market coffee and Beignets, sounds of the Jazz Festival in May, and outrageous Mardi Gras extravaganzas. On the not-so jubilant side, I’m reminded of Hurricanes Camille (1969), Andrew (1992), Katrina and Rita (2005) and Gustav (2008), recalling images of devastated communities, burdened with prolonged power outages for days, weeks, months even. Despite Louisiana’s long-standing reliance on oil and gas to fuel its economy, renewable energy has received an impassioned greeting as New Orleans rebuilds for the 21st Century. As a result, perhaps no other city in the U.S. has the unique opportunity to emerge as a solar city as does New Orleans. MORE


Current and Best Practices: San Antonio’s City Public Service Energy Hosts Solar Practitioner Seminar

CPS Energy, San Antonio’s municipal utility, is one of three municipal utilities in Texas with a solar rebate program. It’s been offering rebates to customers who install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on their homes or property since July 2007. MORE


irecusa.org Extra: Governor Kaine Announces ‘Renew Virginia’ Initiative

Governor Timothy M. Kaine announced his Renew Virginia initiative, which will include legislative and executive actions to make Virginia a leader in energy conservation and efficiency and protecting the environment. MORE


Grants/RFPs

(9) 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 tomorrow, 12/18/08. For more info, including Regional contacts, click here. Refer to Sol# EPA-EE-09-02. (Grants.gov 11/6/08)

(10) 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.

(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. Refer to Sol# DE-PS36-09GO99003. (Grants.gov 10/21/08)

(13) TVA Issues RFP for 2,000 MW of Renewable Energy Power

The Tennessee Valley Authority is requesting proposals to supply up to 2,000 megawatts of power generation from renewable and clean energy sources to TVA by June 1, 2011. Up to 1,000 megawatts of generation would be delivered to TVA by June 1, 2009, according to the Renewable Energy and/or Clean Energy Resources RFP. The amount would increase to a maximum of 1,500 megawatts a year later and to 2,000 megawatts by June 1, 2011. Proposals must be received by Friday, Jan. 16, 2009.

(14) PIER – Renewable Energy Research Area

Renewable-Based Energy Secure Communities (RESCOs) Research, Development & Demonstration, Grant Solicitation PON-08-004

First Pre-Proposal Workshop

December 22, 2008

Hearing Room A, 10 AM

California Energy Commission

1516 Ninth St, Sacramento, CA 95814

In-person and via WebEx

Second Pre-Proposal Workshop

December 23, 2008

Hearing Room A, 10 AM

California Energy Commission

1516 Ninth St, Sacramento, CA 95814

In-person and via WebEx

Deadline to submit Proposal: January 30, 2009 4:00 p.m. PST

(15) 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)

(16) 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

(17) 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.

(18) 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.

(19) 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 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 1/14/09, 5 p.m. EST.
  • 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 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.

FYI

(20) Job Announcement – Senior Associate, Building Efficiency

The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), a public interest organization dedicated to advancing energy efficiency in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, is seeking a Senior Associate to work on energy efficiency in the buildings sector in its Boulder, CO office. visit. Application Deadline: January 1, 2009

(21) NABCEP Announces Fee Increases

The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), regarded as the singular credentialing body of renewable energy installers, has announced, effective January 1, 2009, a change in fees for several of its programs due to higher administration and processing costs.

(22) 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.

(23) Dates Set for 2009 NABCEP PV and Solar Thermal Certifying Exams

Mark your calendars now: March 14 is the date for the Spring NABCEP PV and Solar Thermal certifying exams. Deadline to apply is January 16, 2009. Applications received after this date will be considered for the September 2009 exam.

(24) The Energy Retailer Research Consortium (ERRC) Releases Report on Retail Choice Status

ERCC, an independent research organization, has issued an analysis of retail electricity competition in residential and commercial/industrial markets throughout the United States and Canada. The Annual Baseline Assessment of Choice in Canada and the United States (ABACCUS) reports identify successful markets and explain the policy choices that led to those successes. The report is free.

(25) SUNY Ulster Offers Spring 2009 PV Classes

SUNY Ulster has just announced its Spring 2009 renewable energy class schedule, including several new offerings.

(26) ECA’s ‘Ask the Energy Experts’ Featured in Earth to Philly Weblog

Earth to Philly is a weblog focusing on earth-conscious technology, trends and ideas, from a Daily News perspective. ECA now has an “Ask the Energy Experts” column in the Daily News’ on line version. This weekly column will feature fresh questions every Friday. You can find the column by clicking this link: or by entering “Stay Warm, Stay Green” in the Daily News search box.

(27) San Diego to Offer New Clean Energy Financing Program

On Dec. 5, Mayor Jerry Sanders introduced the San Diego Clean Generation Program, which will allow San Diego residents to pay for solar energy installations through their property tax bills. The City of Berkeley was the first city in California to have such a program. The on-line application for the 40 solar project slots, opened on November 5th and nine minutes later 40 applications had been received. By the November 19th close of the application period, the number of applications reached 77.


EVENTS Calendar

For a full 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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