Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Volume #8, Issue #10
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: IREC goes to ASES; Presentations available
–Current and Best Practices: Freeing The Grid: States moving to the head of the class
–irecusa.org Extra Extra: Small Wind Stakeholders Meet in Chicago; Presentations and agenda now available
About this Newsletter/How to Subscribe
On May 29th, Solar America City Tucson will dedicate its newest solar installation at the El Pueblo Activity Center. NREL’s Jason Coughlin will join Mayor Walkup to celebrate this installation, the first of seven solar projects being built and financed by $7.6 million in interest-free Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs).
Last week, the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP) celebrated the completion of the first energy project and financial award in its history. From application to payout, the entire process took less than six weeks (see Solar in Santa Rosa/Solar Sonoma County: It’s a countywide affair, IREC website, 4.21.09)
New legislation (SB 51) enacted in Colorado in April 2009 expanded net metering for solar-electric systems, effective September 1, 2009. Under the new law, customers may make a one-time election to roll over excess kilowatt-hour credits indefinitely. Furthermore, the individual system capacity limit was changed from two megawatts (MW) to 120% of the annual consumption of the site. The Colorado Public Utilities Commission is currently considering new rules for net metering, pursuant to these legislative changes (see DSIRE record).
Colorado currently has a special method for assessing the property taxes of wind facilities as though the installed costs of these facilities were comparable to non-renewable energy facilities. Senate Bill 177, enacted in April 2009, allows for solar facilities two megawatts (MW) or larger in capacity installed on or after January 1, 2009, to follow the same method for property tax assessment (see DSIRE record).
The Delaware Energy Office (DEO) has reduced rebate levels for PV, solar water heating and wind-energy installations from 50% to 25% of the installed cost. Non-profits and governments that do not use third-party financing mechanisms are eligible for rebates of up to 35% of installed system cost. These incentive changes apply only to the Delmarva Power program, which is administered by the DEO (see DSIRE record).
On May 20th, DOE’s John Lushetsky will be joining Mayor Crotty and Mayor Dyer in Orlando at the Green Cities Florida meeting to “flip the switch” on the Orange County Convention Center’s 1 MW rooftop solar installation. The OCCC was awarded a Solar America Showcase technical assistance award in 2007, which provided technical expertise from solar energy experts at national labs, universities and competitively selected engineering firms. Mr. Lushetsky will also be recognizing Mayor Dyer and the City of Orlando as a Solar America City.
Nebraska has enacted legislation (LB 436) establishing net metering for systems up to 25 kW that generate electricity using solar, wind, geothermal, methane, hydro or biomass resources. Each utility must offer net metering until the aggregate capacity of all net-metered systems in the service territory equals 1% of the utility’s average monthly peak demand (see DSIRE record).
With the passage of SB 6170 in May 2009, the cap on the Washington Renewable Energy Production Incentive increased from $2,000 to $5,000/year. Community solar projects are now able to receive Washington’s production incentive for renewables; the base rate is set at $0.30/kWh. The actual incentive may be higher, ranging from $0.30/kWh to $1.08/kWh, as the incentive rate increases for modules and inverters manufactured in Washington. Individual participants in a community solar project are eligible for the production incentive, up to a cap of $5,000 per participant. The new law also increased the tax credit that utilities may claim for awarding production incentives, effectively increasing the cap on how much each utility can fund. Previously, the credit could not exceed the greater of $25,000 or 0.25% of a utility’s taxable power sales. Now, the credit cannot exceed the greater of $100,000 or 1% of a utility’s taxable power sales. The expiration date for the program was extended to June 30, 2020 (see DSIRE record).
Washington’s renewable energy sales and use tax exemption was set to expire June 30, 2009. Senate Bill 6170 extended this tax exemption to June 30, 2013. Solar energy systems under 10 kW in capacity will receive a 100% exemption from sales and use tax; other qualified renewable energy systems will receive a 100% exemption in the form of a remittance until June 30, 2011, and a 75% exemption in the form of a remittance from July 1, 2011, until June 30, 2013. The eligible system size for this tax exemption increased from 200 watts to 1 kW (see DSIRE record).
SB 6170, enacted in May 2009, reduced the business and occupation (B&O) tax rate for solar manufacturers from 0.2904% to 0.275%, effective October 1, 2009. This tax rate is 43% lower than the standard manufacturing B&O tax rate. This reduced tax rate applies to manufacturers of PV modules, solar grade silicon, silicon solar wafers, silicon solar cells, thin film solar devices or compound semiconductor solar wafers to be used exclusively in solar energy systems (see DSIRE record).
Interview of the Week: IREC Goes to ASES 09; Presentations available
IREC’s net metering, small wind, and workforce development experts were in full attendance recently at the American Solar Energy Society’s 2009 Solar Conference in Buffalo, NY. It was a very full agenda; often the IREC team was presenting at the same time on different topics in different rooms. MORE
Current and Best Practices: Freeing The Grid: States moving to the head of the class
Since 2006, The Network for New Energy Choices (NNEC) has issued ‘Freeing the Grid (FTG),’ a report card grading states’ policies for allowing homeowners and small business owners who generate renewable energy to connect to the grid and receive credit for the electricity they produce. How does something so unglamorous as, say, a state’s net metering and interconnection policies, normally of interest to a small group of people, become so sophisticated, so fashionable, so competitive? MORE
irecusa.org Extra Extra! Small Wind State Stakeholders Meet in Chicago; Presentations available
The 2009 IREC Small Wind State Stakeholders Meeting was held May 6, 2009 at the WINDPOWER 2009 Conference in Chicago. Agenda and presentations are now available. MORE
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.
NYPA RFEI is seeking interest for up to 100 MW of on-site solar resources at numerous NYPA customer facilities to be designed, permitted, equipped, installed, operated, maintained (including materials and labor), and offered via 20-year power purchase agreements. NYPA Contact: John Markowitz, fax: 914-681-6860.
A number of new renewables RFPs are posted at DOE’s Green Power Network. You can subscribe to receive RFP updates.
This site is a “virtual hub” of project management information and resources for EERE customers, stakeholders, staff and contractors, including locating and tracking 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.
- 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.
- 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 email@example.com.
The U.S. Department of Energy announces its intent to request proposals for the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program. Through this program, DOE seeks to stimulate the rapid
deployment and integration of advanced digital technology that is needed to modernize the nation’s electric delivery network for enhanced operational intelligence and connectivity. The program will support projects that promote deployment, including development of component technologies. Individual award range anticipated to be $500K to $5 million. The RFP will open on or about 6/17/09. Three due dates anticipated: 7/29/09, 12/2/09, and 3/31/10. For more info, contact Donna Williams.
The U.S. Department of Energy announces its intent to request proposals for Smart Grid Demonstrations. Through this RFP, DOE seeks regionally unique demonstrations to verify smart grid technology viability, quantify smart grid costs and benefits, and validate new smart grid business models, at a scale that can be readily adapted and replicated around the country. Areas of interest include: Smart Grid Demonstrations, Synchrophasors, and Energy Storage. $615 million expected to be available, up to 36 awards anticipated. Closing date to be announced with release of RFP. For more info, contact Keith Carrington.
DOE requests proposals for the State Energy Program (SEP). This program provides formula grants to State and Territorial energy offices to design and carry out renewable energy and energy efficiency priorities. $25 million expected to be available, up to 56 awards anticipated. Due dates based on state/territorial program years. For more info, contact Lisa Kuzniar.
The Appalachian Regional Commission requests proposals for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Training and Certification Programs. Funded projects must focus on training and certification programs, supporting the development of trained employees for jobs in the renewable and energy efficiency fields, as well as providing certified installers to the marketplace. Implementation of energy efficiency education curricula, such as USGBC LEED programs, ASHRAE programming, IECC, or other energy efficiency coursework will also be
supported. Projects must take place in the ARC Region which includes all of WV and parts of AL, GA, KY, MD, MS, NY, NC, OH, PA, SC, TN, and VA. $250K expected to be available, up to 10 awards anticipated. Reponses due 5/29/09.
The Appalachian Regional Commission requests proposals for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency for K-12 Schools. This program will underwrite costs of installing renewable energy and energy efficiency equipment in K-12 schools in Appalachia, and provide support for the implementation of associated science, environment, and business curricula in the classroom. Eligible renewable energy equipment includes: Wind, solar, fuel cells, biofuels, and geothermal systems. Projects must take place in the ARC Region which includes all of WV and parts of AL, GA, KY, MD, MS, NY, NC, OH, PA, SC, TN, and VA. $250K expected to be available, up to 10 awards anticipated. Responses due 5/29/09.
(21) Renewables Purchase – Southwest
The U.S. Department of the Navy announces its intent to request proposals for the purchase of competitively priced renewable electrical power through power purchase agreements at Naval and Marine Corps installations in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest AOR. The Navy seeks systems that are constructed, owned, operated, maintained and repaired by the successful offeror(s) on Government property located within the installation boundaries. Up to 5 awards anticipated. The RFP will be issued “within the next month.” For more info, visit https://www.fbo.gov/spg/DON/NAVFAC/N47408/N6258309R0085/listing.html, or contact Russell Dominy.
The U.S. Department of Energy, Advanced Research Projects Agency (a new DOE Agency created specifically to foster R&D of transformational energy related technologies) requests proposals for Advanced Research Projects. Transformational technologies are defined as those that disrupt the status quo; not merely better than current technologies, but significantly better. This RFP supports the Nation’s need to overcome the threats posed by climate change and energy security. Concept papers are required, and are due 6/2/09. Final proposals accepted by invitation only. For more info, contact Bradley Poston.
The California Energy Commission requests proposals for the Energy Innovations Small Grant Program – Electricity Program. EISG funds the early development of innovative energy RD&D projects. Projects must target one of the following: Industrial/Agriculture/Water End-Use Efficiency; Building End-Use Efficiency; Environmentally Preferred Advanced Generation; Renewable Generation; Energy-Related Environmental Research; and Energy Systems Integration. Proposed projects must be clearly relevant to California’s electric market. Individual hardware awards NTE $95K, individual modeling awards NTE $50K. Responses due 6/11/09.
First Choice Power requests applications for Classroom Energy Innovation Grant applications for Texas teachers. This program supports pre-K to 12 teachers working to incorporate projects on energy and energy efficiency in their classrooms. Individual grants NTE $2K. Responses due 9/15/09.
Our good friends at The Network for New Energy Choices (NNEC) have added a video blog to their website where you can watch short films that showcase the advantages of using renewable energy, with a special focus on NNEC’s home of New York City metro area. NNEC’s first series of videos produced in partnership Vote Solar and with Solar One, takes viewers up onto New York City’s lofty roofs to reveal the hidden world of solar energy in the city. The first video, released May 14, looks at a solar installation on top of an office building in Brooklyn, which also happens to be the first net metered commercial building in New York City. Future videos will include stories on solar installations at a Manhattan museum and a nature reserve in the Hudson Valley, so be sure to check back regularly.
Jane Weissman talked about renewable energy training and certification with Renewable Energy World’s Stephen Lacy at the recent ASES 09 conference in Buffalo, New York.
IREC’s 2009 Annual Meeting Workshop, scheduled for Monday, October 26th in Anaheim, California, will pay special attention to key topics for IREC members, state stakeholders and the industry, including interconnection and net metering, an update on market trends for solar installations, perspectives and trends on green workforce developments featuring speakers from states and national programs with updates on programs and reports. Don’t miss it.
At the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America program’s annual state summit earlier this month, Alvarado was recognized for promoting wind energy use in Michigan and the Great Lakes Region, specifically for her efforts in the adoption of the Michigan’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, advocating for the revisions of Michigan’s net metering program and organizing Michigan’s Wind Energy Conference this past March in Detroit, Michigan. Outstanding Wind Working Group of the year went to Michigan and John Sarver accepted the award on behalf of the group’s many participants.
The Solar Policy and Analysis Regional Centers RFI seeks input on a proposed strategy of creating Solar Policy and Analysis Regional Centers around the country that would fill the need for timely local and regional policy research and analysis supporting solar commercialization.
(30) News from DOE Re ARRA
James Ferguson, States Coordinator, Eastern States, National Energy Technology Laboratory, tell us that the the two most recent editions of the Solicitations newsletter, issues #189 and #188, include recent funding opportunities for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability projects. He also gave us the following resources for The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), also known as the Recovery Act:
- Federal Government Recovery Act website
- DOE Recovery Act website
- DOE Recovery Act Clearinghouse (Toll-Free): (888) 363-RCVY or (888) 363-7289
- EERE Recovery Act website
- Federal government funding opportunities are located at http://www.grants.gov/, and at https://www.fbo.gov/
This webinar on May 27th, presented by SolarCollege in collaboration with ACORE, will highlight ways schools can go solar, create “shovel-ready” green jobs, and engage the campus in a hands-on renewable energy educational program.
You can find a comprehensive listing of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding opportunities on the ASES website.
There are two upcoming workshops for tribal leaders, staff and other interested parties to understand the range of energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities that exist within their communities. The Business Development and Project Financing workshop, June 23-25, 2009, is designed to identify the business structures, financing methods, and legal and institutional frameworks needed to bring projects to reality. The one-day renewable energy and energy efficiency training, June 23, 2009, will help attendees develop an outline for a tribal strategic plan and will explore how energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies can be used to meet tribal objectives. Both workshops will be held in Denver.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Tribal Energy Program’s web site provides information for Tribes to achieve their energy goals, including a process for strategic planning for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.
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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