March 2009 Small Wind Newsletter

Issue No. 36, February 25, 2009

Welcome to the March 2009 issue of the Small Wind Newsletter. See details on subscribing at the end of the newsletter.

Larry Sherwood

Editor

NEWS

Stimulus Bill Lifts Cost Caps on Small Wind Turbine Tax Credit

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the economic stimulus bill that includes a provision to uncap the federal small wind turbine Investment Tax Credit (ITC) originally passed last October. The removal of the cost caps on the small-wind ITC will provide consumers with a true 30% tax credit for the purchase and installation of small wind turbines with rated capacities of 100 kilowatts or less. Read on.

Interview with Trudy Forsyth

There are only a handful of people who know the small wind industry like Trudy Forsyth. In this article, Jane Pulaski talks with her about current issues in small wind, including rapid growth, changing policies and related challenges. Read on.

MASSACHUSETTS: Babson College Installs Campus Wind Turbine

Babson College installed a wind turbine on the school’s campus as a demonstration project. The college’s decision to complete the installation was based on a proposal created by a team of three graduate students and introduced through the Babson Energy and Environmental Club, a student led organization at the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business. Read on.

NREL Issues Funding Opportunities Announcement

DOE recently announced a new funding opportunity, through their “20% Wind by 2030” project. This solicitation has a due date of March 3rd. Read on.

2009 Small Wind State Stakeholders Meeting

The Annual Small Wind State Stakeholders Meeting will be Wednesday, May 6 from 1:00pm – 5:00pm during WINDPOWER 2009 in Chicago. The State Stakeholders meeting provides an opportunity for states to exchange information on policies and programs to promote the use of small wind turbines. Read on.

Small Wind Certification Council Launches Website

The Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC) launched a web site that gives information on the organization and its planned certification programs. The site has information about SWCC, its mission, history, staff, funders and board. As SWCC policies, applications, and other information is developed, it will be posted to the web site. Read on.

AWEA Drafts Standard for Small Wind Turbines

A draft American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) certification standard for small wind turbines (up to ~ 65 kW) has been published and AWEA solicited comments from its members and other affected parties. Read on.

SOUTH DAKOTA: South Dakota Wind Energy Association Formed

South Dakota has some of the best wind in the country, and now it boasts a new organization to encourage the development of those wind resources. On January 13, 2009, after months of effort, the South Dakota Wind Energy Association (SDWEA) was established and its first board meeting was held in Pierre. Read on.

Distributed Wind Applications User Group to Hold Meeting in Austin

In an effort to better serve the needs of its core membership, the Distributed Wind Applications User Group of the Utility Wind Integration Group (UWIG) will meet on the afternoon of March 25 at the Renaissance Hotel in Austin, Texas, in conjunction with the American Public Power Association’s Engineering & Operations Conference. Read on.

NEW YORK: KidWind Project Announces Design Competition

The KidWind Project is excited to announce the opening of the 2009 KidWind Challenge. This design competition seeks middle and high school students interested in testing their engineering and scientific prowess as they build the most powerful and elegant student wind turbines ever constructed. Read on.

Upcoming Wind Events

For a full listing of upcoming wind energy events, click here.

INTERCONNECTION AND NET METERING

Check the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc.’s Connecting to the Grid web site for the latest interconnection and net metering news.

MAINE PUC Adopts Draft Rules for Shared-System Net Metering

On January 8, the Maine Public Utilities Commission provisionally adopted draft rules that would amend the current net energy billing rule to allow net billing for customers who share in the ownership of an eligible renewable facility with a capacity of 500 kW or less. The rules also include an expanded facility capacity limit up to 500 kW for individual net billing customers. The provisional rules remove the facility vicinity requirement and allow for the net billing of accounts across a utility’s service territory. Read on.

Missouri PSC Staff Ask for Removal of Insurance Requirements

Missouri Public Service Commission Staff (PSC) filed a Motion for Final Order of Rulemaking regarding liability insurance requirements that were imposed under PSC rules in October 2008. In amending the net metering rule, the Commission included certain liability insurance requirements that it “now believes are undesirable and contrary to the purposes of the statute that granted the rulemaking authority.” The October PSC rules specified that customers with systems 10 kW or less must carry at least $100,000 of liability insurance, which may be in the form of an existing policy or an endorsement on an existing policy. Customers with systems greater 10 kW must carry at least $1,000,000 of liability insurance. Read on.

INCENTIVES

New Incentives reported by the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE), a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and selected federal incentives that promote renewable energy. To access state-by-state incentives and policies that promote wind energy technologies, click here and select “wind (all)” or “wind (residential)” from the drop-down menu.

NEW YORK: Long Island Power Authority – Wind Energy Rebate Program

The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) offers rebates to its residential and commercial electric customers — including non-profits, schools, and governments — for the installation of grid-connected wind energy systems. The program is new for 2009 and is budgeted at $1.2 million for the 2009 program year. Rebates amounts will be calculated as the lesser of 60% of the installed system costs or the amount based on expected annual energy production in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The maximum rebate is $200,000 per application. Read on.

OHIO: Residential Wind Energy Incentive Program

The Ohio Department of Development’s (ODOD) Ohio Energy Office (OEO) offers grants on a first-come, first-served basis for the installation of new residential wind energy systems in the service areas of the following utilities: American Electric Power, Dayton Power & Light, Duke Energy, and FirstEnergy. The incentive is calculated as the lesser of $2/AC kilowatt-hour (kWh) of estimated annual system output or 50% of eligible system costs, up to a maximum incentive of $25,000. Read on.

IOWA Utilities Offer Wind Incentives

Three Iowa public power utilities, Farmers Electric Cooperative, Maquoketa Municipal Electric Utility, and Preston Municipal Electric Utility, now offer renewable energy incentives. Small wind installations qualify for the incentives. Click the links for each utilities’ program.

Farmers Electric Cooperative

Maquoketa Municipal Electric Utility

Preston Municipal Electric Utility

SMALL WIND IN THE NEWS

These articles from around the U.S. give examples of how small wind is covered today — good or bad.

MASSACHUSETTS: Wind Turbine at Medford School Saves Money, Educates Students

Tufts Daily, February 19, 2009

A newly built 121-foot-tall wind turbine recently constructed by the City of Medford will provide energy for McGlynn Elementary and Middle School.

The turbine became operational on Feb. 5, 2009. It will provide 10 percent of the school’s yearly energy costs, which translates to an estimated annual savings of $25,000. Read on.

SOUTH DAKOTA: Black Hills Power Launches Wind for Schools Project

Rapid City Journal, February 9, 2009

Douglas School District is one of eight South Dakota school districts selected to receive a wind turbine in a federal project. Its goals are to raise awareness about the benefits of wind energy and train students in potential future jobs. Read on.

MARYLAND: Ocean City Passes Wind Turbine Law

Delmarva Now, February 19, 2009

In a move that breaks new ground for resort property and business owners trying to reduce dependence on the regional power grid, the Ocean City, Maryland, Town Council passed a law allowing residential and commercial use of electricity-generating wind turbines. Property owners can install roof- or pole-mounted wind turbines, as long as they meet noise and height restrictions, among other regulations. Read on.

Bringing Wind Turbines to Ordinary Rooftops

New York Times, February 15, 2009

Wind turbines typically spin from tall towers on hills and plains. But in these green times, some companies hope smaller turbines will soon rise above a more domestic spot: homes and garages. The rooftop turbines send the electricity they generate straight on to the home’s circuit box. Then owners in a suitably wind-swept location can watch the needle on their electricity meter turn backward instead of forward, reducing their utility bills while using a renewable resource. Read on.

NEW YORK: A Cleaner Way to Keep the City Running

New York Times, January 4, 2009

A handful of buildings in New York City are already drawing electricity from wind turbines, which typically resemble table fans, or mounted airplane propellers. Unlike some of the skyscraping versions that dot rural hillsides, small turbines supply power directly to homes without first sending it through a utility company’s lines. One major sticking point in the city is that densely packed buildings tend to scatter breezes, making it tough to capture steady gusts. Read on.

PENNSYLVANIA: Wilkes-Barre Zoning Board Approves Wind Turbine for City Home

Times Leader, February 18, 2009

The city zoning hearing board Wednesday approved the first vertical axis wind turbine to be installed in a residential area. Read on.

MINNESOTA: Stearns County Board Approves Wind Turbine

St. Cloud Times, February 18, 2009

The Stearns County board has approved a Lynden Township landowner’s request to erect a wind turbine on his property near the Clearwater River. The county board voted 3-1 February 17, 2009, after a public hearing during which neighbors complained that the tower would be a blight and obstruct their view. Pearson’s original proposal was rejected by the township, so he moved it to a shore land area where the county has regulatory authority. Read on.

ILLINOIS: Wind Turbine Will Be Used In Rockford’s Midtown

My Stateline.com, February 18, 2009

A huge white wind turbine sits atop the “Justgoods” store, waiting for one more part before it can start to be pushed by the wind and generate electricity. The overall cost of the project is about $60,000. But those supporting it, such as Lee Schreiner, say it’s a great investment. Read on.

ABOUT THE SMALL WIND ENERGY NEWSLETTER

The Small Wind Newsletter is published electronically by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc.. The Small Wind Web Site contains news, resources, and links.

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If you have comments or news items, please send them to Larry Sherwood at Larry@irecusa.org.

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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