State & Stakeholder Newsletter, April 8, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Volume #8, Issue #7

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 Cities 2.0: News from the 2nd Annual Meeting in San Antonio

–Current and Best Practices: Solar Permitting in San Jose

–irecusa.org Extra Extra: May 4, 2009 Telephone Seminar: Federal Solar Tax Incentive Q&A

–Grants/RFPs

–FYI

–Events

About this Newsletter/How to Subscribe


State/Local News

(1) CALIFORNIA – San Francisco Increases PV Incentives for Non-Profits and Low-Income Residents

The city has lifted the cap on PV rebates for non-residential buildings owned by non-profits, or occupied by non-profits and owned by government entities. Rebates were also increased for multi-unit residential buildings that are operated by a non-profit. These installations may now receive up to $4,500 per kW (depending on the number of units) up to a maximum of $150,000 with an additional $100,000 available on a matching-fund basis. In addition, low-income applications received on or after Feb. 1, 2009 are eligible for an additional $7,000 (see DSIRE record).

(2) FLORIDA – Governor Crist Receives “Golden Meter” Award

At a ceremony held in Tallahassee on March 31, 2009, Florida Governor Charlie Crist received the 2009 Golden Meter Award for his leadership in creating policies that foster a strong solar energy market. The Award was presented by The Network for New Energy Choices, The Solar Alliance, The Vote Solar Initiative, The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. and The Florida Solar Energy Industries Association.

(3) MONTANA – Montana Extends Collections for Public Benefit Fund Beyond 2009

HB 27 was signed by the governor of Montana on March 25, 2009, removing the 2009 expiration date for Montana’s Universal System Benefits (USB) program. The USB program collects roughly $9 million each year through a per kilowatt-hour (kWh) surcharge to fund energy efficiency, renewable energy, and low-income programs (see DSIRE record).

(4) MONTANA: Montana Revises RPS Provisions Relating to Community Renewable Energy Projects

HB 207 and 208 were signed by the governor of Montana on March 20, 2009, increasing the eligible size of community renewable energy projects from 5 MW to 25 MW. Under Montana’s Renewable Portfolio Standard utilities will be required to purchase RECs and electricity from community renewable energy projects beginning in 2012 (see DSIRE record).

(5) NEVADA – Two New Reports Show Opportunities for Nevada with Utility-Scale Solar

Rosalind Jackson with the Vote Solar Initiative tells us about two recent, independent reports sent to Nevada state legislators to help them understand the benefits of utility-scale solar development, and the policy tools that can unleash that opportunity.

(6) NEW MEXICO – El Paso Electric Company Offers Customers Payments for RECs from Solar and Wind

On March 1, 2009, El Paso Electric began purchasing RECs from its New Mexico customers who install PV and wind-energy systems up to 10 kilowatts (kW) in capacity. RECs produced by these systems will be measured by a separate meter and purchased by El Paso Electric on a monthly basis. The utility will purchase the RECs at a rate of $0.13/kWh for a period of 12 years (see DSIRE record).

(7) NEW MEXICO – PNM Now Purchasing SRECs From Large Commercial PV Systems

PNM expanded their solar program in March 2009 to include systems up to 1 MW. Systems up to 10 kW will still receive $0.13/kWh, but now systems between 10kW and 1 MW can sell their SRECs for $0.15/kWh (see DSIRE record).

(8) TEXAS – Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative (GVEC) Unveils Renewable Energy Rebate Program

The program offers rebates for the installation of solar PV systems, solar water heaters, wind-electric systems, solar attic fans, and solar water pumps by GVEC member-customers. PV systems up to 20 kW may receive a $2/W up to $8,000 while wind electric systems are eligible for an incentive of $1.50/W up to $6,000. Rebates are limited to systems installed after March 3, 2009 (see DSIRE record).

(9) TEXAS – Small Wind System Installed at LCRA’s McKinney Roughs Park

The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), the Texas State Energy Conservation Office (SECO), the Alternative Energy Institute (AEI) at West Texas A&M University, and Meridian Energy Systems collaborated to install a Skystream 3.7 residential-sized wind system at the LCRA’s McKinney Roughs Nature Park near Bastrop, Texas.

(10) VIRGINIA- Virginia Extends Voluntary Renewable Portfolio Goal to 15% by 2025

On March 30, the state of Virginia enacted H.B. 1994, expanding the state’s voluntary renewable portfolio goal from 12% by 2022 to 15% by 2025. Although the target is voluntary, the state encourages utilities to participate by allowing them to recover program costs and providing a performance incentive for target attainment (see DSIRE record).

(11) WASHINGTON – Snohomish County PUD introduces rebate and loan program for PV and solar water heating

The Solar Express program provides rebates and loans to residential and commercial customers for the installation of PV and solar water heating systems. The PV incentive is $500/kW-DC, up to $2,500 for residential customers and $10,000 for commercial customers. The incentive for solar water heating is $500 per system. Loans of up to $25,000 for PV and $14,000 for solar water heating are available to residential customers at an interest rate of 2.9% (see DSIRE record for WA Rebates); (see DSIRE record for WA Loans)

(12) WISCONSIN – Wisconsin Power & Light (WPL) Now Offering Special Renewable Energy Purchase Tariff

The “advanced renewables tariff” is available to WPL retail electricity customers that install renewable energy systems that are eligible under the state RPS. Under the tariff, WPL will purchase 100% of the energy produced by eligible systems through a 10-year contract. Solar facilities of 20 kW or less receive a rate of $0.25/kWh while other technologies are subject to different capacity limits and receive different rates for on-peak and off-peak energy production (see DSIRE record).


Interview of the Week: Solar America Cities 2.0: News from the 2nd Annual Meeting in San Antonio

Last year, some 125 attended the first Solar America Cities Annual Meeting in Tucson to share their experiences solarizing their cities. This year, some 165+ met in San Antonio for Solar America Cities 2.0. “It’s a family reunion,” said Tom Kimbis, Market Transformation Director, Solar Energy Technologies Program/DOE, as he looked out at the gathering of solar advocates at the 2nd Annual Solar America Cities meeting. MORE


Current and Best Practices: Solar Permitting in San Jose

As part of the City of San Jose’s Solar America grant, they’re working on developing a menu of best practices for solar permitting. MORE


irecusa.org Extra Extra! May 4, 2009 Telephone Seminar: Federal Solar Tax Incentive Question and Answer

The next IREC Telephone Seminar on Monday, May 4 at 2pm EDT (1pm CDT, noon MDT, 11am PDT, 10am Alaska, 8am Hawaii) will be conducted in a question and answer format and will address the Federal Solar Tax Incentives. The seminar will last for approximately 1 hour. This seminar is co-hosted by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) and the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). MORE


Grants/RFPs

(13) We Energies Renewable Energy Research and Development (R&D) Grant Program

We Energies’ Renewable Energy Research and Development (R&D) Grant Program offers financial assistance through grants (up to a maximum award of $200,000) to conduct research on renewable energy technologies that results in the generation of electric energy, or to help demonstrate a renewable energy product associated with the production of renewable electricity. Grants are intended for research and development endeavors that will clearly advance a technology or product, and will clearly contribute positively to the renewable energy industry. Applications received on an on-going basis through 2009.

(14) Availability of the Solicitation of Interest for the Development of the Annapolis Renewable Energy Park

The Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority is issuing a Solicitation of Interest (“SOI”) on behalf of the City of Annapolis, Maryland (“City”) for the development of the Annapolis Renewable Energy Park (“AREP”). The SOI is available at the Authority’s website, or by

contacting Shirl Wright.

(15) 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.

(16) 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

(17) DOE & SEPA Offer ‘Solar Options for Low Cost Utilities’ Workshop in Knoxville

As part of its Utility Technical Outreach award with the DOE Solar Program, the Solar Electric Power Association is hosting its first in a series of regional workshops on solar options for utilities. “Solar Options for Low Cost Utilities” will take place April 13-14 in Solar America City Knoxville, TN. The second such workshop is tentatively scheduled for June 30 in New York City. Visit the SEPA website for more info and to register.

(18) NABCEP Announces Updated Solar PV Installer Certification Eligibility Requirements

Recognizing the dynamic nature of the renewable energy industry, NABCEP’s Board of Directors has updated the training-related eligibility criteria a candidate must meet in order to sit for the Solar PV Installer Certification Exam.

(19) Solar ABCs Seeks New Advisory Committee Members

The Solar ABCs Steering Committee expects to add up to five new members and especially seeks nominations representing BIPV (and/or AC modules), utilities, and local government (such as Solar Cities representatives). To nominate yourself or someone else, send a letter to Larry Sherwood explaining your background and why you would like to serve on the Solar ABCs Advisory Committee. The deadline for nomination letters is extended to April 23, 2009.

(20) Karl Rabago Becomes Austin Energy’s VP for Distributed Generation

We heard that globe-trotting Karl Rabago, a nationally recognized leader in renewable energy, green power, tradable carbon credits, and new energy market development, started work on March 30 at Austin Energy in the “green leader” position originally held by Roger Duncan, who is now General Manager. Karl will lead AE’s efforts on the Austin Climate Protection Plan (ACPP), energy efficiency, green building, plug-in hybrids, and other programs. Welcome back home, Karl (Austin Chronicle, April 2, 2009).

(21) Renewable Energy Specialist Position at Appalachian State U Beginning Summer ’09

Appalachian State University is looking for a renewable energy scientist/ engineer who will coordinate and participate in the activities of the Western North Carolina Renewable Energy Initiative, which is a program area within the Appalachian State University Energy Center. The activities will be undertaken throughout the western 24 counties of North Carolina, with the hub of activities centered at the Appalachian State University Energy Center. Review of applications will begin April 15 and continue until the position is filled. Applications must include a letter of application, current vitae, most recent transcripts (official or unofficial), and the names, mailing addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers of three references. Applications will be accepted by e-mail or by post. For more information, contact:

Dr. Dennis Scanlin, Search Committee Chairperson / 828-262-6361. Send applications to:

Dr. Todd Cherry, Interim Director, Appalachian State University Energy Center, ASU Box 32131, Boone, NC 28608-2122.

(22) TREIA to Offer PV and Solar Thermal Training with Brooks and Guiney on April 24-25th

They’re not a musical duo, but Bill Brooks and Bil Guiney will be in Austin for two days of PV and solar thermal workshops with current information on installation and code compliance for photovoltaic and solar thermal systems for installers, inspectors, engineers, plumbers, electricians, architects, plan checkers, fire officials and others. Special discount rates available for TREIA members.

(23) Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) and TEQUILATBWA Launch ShrinkYourFoot.org

TEQUILATBWA, the ad agency behind Apple, VISA, and Nissan marketing campaigns, donated their strategic and creative services to help people learn what they can do to support the transition to renewable energy. Visit the new site.

(24) NREL Releases Four New Reports

Regional REC Supply and Demand Analysis: This report examines the balance between the demand and supply of new renewable electricity in the United States on a regional basis through 2015

Feed-in Tariff Policies: This report explores the design and operation of feed-in tariff policies, including a FIT policy definition, payment-structure options, and payment differentiation. It also touches on the potential interactions between FIT policies and RPS policies at the state level.

Residential Solar PV Financing: This report presents the information that homeowners and policy makers need to facilitate PV financing at the residential level.

Solar Leasing for Residential PV: This publication examines the solar lease option for residential PV systems and describes two solar lease programs already in place.


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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