State & Stakeholder Newsletter, March 11, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Volume #8, Issue #5

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/Knoxville: One Fast-Moving Group of Overachievers

–Current and Best Practices: IREC Offers Solar Hot Water Systems Training for Local Code Officials; Demand is Brisk

–irecusa.org Extra: So, what exactly is a green job?

–Grants/RFPs

–FYI

–Events

About this Newsletter/How to Subscribe


State/Local News

(1) ARIZONA – Tucson Places $7.6M of CREBS for 7 Solar Projects

On February 26, 2009, the City of Tucson successfully placed $7.6 million of Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) which will allow the City to build one megawatt of solar electric (photovoltaic) projects on seven city sites. These projects will save over 1,895 carbon equivalent tons and help the City meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals. These projects will also fulfill the City’s match under its Solar America Cities Grant from the US Department of Energy (from a City of Tucson media release sent by Bruce Plenk, Solar Energy Coordinator, City of Tucson, 520.791.5111, x 327).

(2) DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA – New PV, Wind Rebate Program Unveiled

The DC Department of Environment has introduced a rebate program for grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) and wind-energy systems up to 20 kilowatts (kW) in capacity. The Renewable Energy Incentive Program (REIP) is part of DC’s sustainability efforts supported by the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund, the District’s public benefits fund. The incentive has a tiered rate, with $3/watt for first three kW, $2/watt for next seven kW, and $1 /watt for next 10 kW. The program budget is $2 million per year for fiscal years 2009-2012 (see DSIRE record).

(3) FLORIDA – GRU FIT Program Funding Fully Committed for 2009, 2010

Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU), a municipal utility, has announced that it has already received enough applications to fulfill its feed-in tariff goals of four megawatts (MW) for 2009 and an additional 4 MW for 2010. However, GRU is still inviting new applications (see DSIRE record).

(4) GUAM – Power Authority Moves to Meet Renewables Goals

In January 2009, Guam Power Authority (GPA) issued a notice of intent to acquire renewable energy resources by the end of this year. This is in partial response to Guam’s recently enacted Renewable Energy Portfolio Goals and is part of GPA’s updated Integrated Resources Plan, approved by Guam’s Public Utility Commission in December 2008 (see DSIRE record).

(5) MAINE – Solar Rebate Funds Exhausted

Rebates for photovoltaic (PV) systems and solar-thermal systems under Maine’s Solar and Wind Energy Rebate Program are no longer available (see DSIRE record).

(6) MASSACHUSETTS – Hybrid Incentives for Small Wind Available

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) has announced that the Small Renewables Initiative is offering rebates for small wind-energy systems (up to 10 kilowatts) under a new hybrid structure, in which the first rebate payment is based on the system’s rated capacity and the second payment is based on actual kilowatt-hour production after the first year of operation (see DSIRE record).

(7) NEW YORK – PSC Adopts Improved Interconnection Standards

New York’s revised interconnection standards, which apply to the state’s six major investor-owned utilities, provide a simplified six-step process for most systems up to 200 kilowatts (kW) in capacity. The new rules have also been revised to bring them in line with the cost allocation structure specified by several net-metering bills enacted in August 2008 (see DSIRE record).

(8) PENNSYLVANIA – $17 Million Available for EE Loans, Rebates

Pennsylvania has dedicated $17 million to the Keystone HELP Energy Efficiency Loan & Rebate Program, which is designed to help homeowners improve energy efficiency with special financing and rebates for high-efficiency heating, air conditioning, insulation, windows, doors, geothermal and “whole house” improvements. While this program primarily supports energy-efficiency improvements, funding is also available for closed-loop geothermal heat pumps and “alternative energy heating and cooling equipment systems” (excluding solar technologies).

(see DSIRE record/Loans: see DSIRE record/Rebates).

(9) VERMONT – Fresh Rebate Funds Available for Small Renewables

Vermont’s Small-Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program, currently in its fifth round of funding, now offers incentives for micro-hydro systems in addition to PV, solar water heaters and wind-energy systems (see DSIRE record).

(10) WISCONSIN – Renewable Energy Installations up 40% from 2007

Focus on Energy helped WI residents and businesses install 338 renewable energy systems in the past year, representing 40% more projects than in 2007, and a record for the number of projects completed in one year since the program’s inception in 2002.


Interview of the Week: Solar America City/Knoxville: One Fast-Moving Group of Overachievers

Just last March, the City of Knoxville became a Solar America City. In that short time, the Knoxville team has achieved enviable results, like their free ‘Solar 101 Basics” workshops where more than 100 residents and business representatives have attended; the collaboration with Pellissippi State Technical Community College, their local community college, to build a green curriculum for the 21st Century, a ‘Green Jobs and Education Opportunities’ conference in April, and training local building and code officials in PV and solar thermal technologies. “They’re getting a well-deserved reputation as a group of over-achievers,” said Curt Maxey, Tiger Team lead for Knoxville from Oak Ridge National Laboratory. MORE


Current and Best Practices: IREC Offers Solar Hot Water Systems Training for Local Code Officials

With a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), IREC was able to respond to mounting requests for local code official training on SDHW systems. Code and building officials are key players in inspecting and approving solar thermal systems. Currently, many are not familiar with solar thermal energy technologies, and their lack of understanding could result in systems not being approved or shut down. MORE


irecusa.org Extra Extra! So, what exactly is a green job?

The greening of jobs is a welcomed transition as we move toward greater use of renewable energy resources and energy efficient practices. However, as we hear more and more about green jobs and green-collar jobs, it begs the question, what is a green job? MORE


Grants/RFPs

(11) We Energies Rolls Out New R&D Program

We Energies offers grants under its Renewable Energy Research and Development (R&D) Grant Program to its business and not-for-profit electric customers as well as organizations teamed with We Energies business and not-for-profit electric customers. Grants, up to a maximum of $200,000 per project, are offered to conduct research on renewable energy technologies, or to help demonstrate a renewable energy project or technology.

(12) 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.

(13) 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.

(14) 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

  • 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

(15) Call for Presentations & Posters Now Open for New Ideas in Educating a Workforce In Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency: 3rd National Conference Set for November 18-20, 2009, Albany, NY

There are three ways you can participate in the 2009 Workforce Education National Conference – you can submit a proposal for a Presentation, a proposal for a Poster, or become a Sponsor. Presentations will be grouped into 90-minute sessions organized around a common topic. Posters will be on display starting with the Reception on the first night of the conference and will continue to be shown throughout the second day of the conference. Sponsorships are available giving your company or organization visibility before and during the conference. Go toConference Home for information and details.

(16) DOE Issues NOTA for Solar America Showcases

The Department of Energy (DOE) has published a Notice of Opportunity for Technical Assistance (NOTA) for the Solar America Showcases project. The funding amount for Solar America Showcases is up to $500,000 of technical assistance per award. The current quarter’s application deadline is March 31, 2009.

(17) Solar Jobs Map’ Projects Economic Growth Across Nation

The Solar Energy Research & Education Foundation (SEREF) and Google.org released an interactive “solar jobs map” that visually tells the story of how effective federal energy policy will drive a rapid increase in the use of solar energy and create thousands of new ‘green’ collar jobs. The map dynamically illustrates the anticipated solar job creation over the next eight years on a state-by-state basis and compares the job creation potential across solar technologies. Using Google Earth you can download and watch a solar jobs creation simulation, compare the solar energy resources of each state with their job growth potential, take a tour of some U.S. solar installations, and view profiles of solar jobs spotlighted around the country.

(18) 7th Annual Solar Schoolhouse Summer Institute–Register On Line

Registration for the 7th annual Solar Schoolhouse Summer Institute for Educators is now online. Teachers from all over the country will attend this 5-day seminar – building model solar cars, cookers, homes, fountains, and more.

(19) SEPA Launches Two New Utility Education Programs

“As utilities explore options to incorporate solar into their portfolio, more forums are needed to facilitate information sharing with their peers, both in the U.S. and abroad,” says Julia Judd Hamm, SEPA’s Executive Director. “SEPA’s Fact Finding Mission and the Utility Solar Conference provide two excellent opportunities for utilities to better understand both the technical and non-technical matters related to incorporating solar projects and programs into the utility business.”


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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