State & Stakeholder Newsletter, July 1, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Volume #8, Issue #13

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 / ATT&E and Hands On Solar, setting the curve In PV teacher training

–irecusa.org Extra Extra: IREC Announces its 16th Annual Search for Innovative Renewable Energy Projects and Programs

–Grants/RFPs

–FYI

–Events

About this Newsletter/How to Subscribe


State/Local News

(1) HAWAII – RPS Accelerated

Hawaii’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) has been significantly expanded by legislation enacted in June. HB 1464 increased the amount of renewable electrical energy generation required by utilities from 20% by 2020 to 25% by 2020 and 40% by 2030. The expansion of Hawaii’s RPS in 2009 formalized many of the goals established in by the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative in 2008. The new law also altered provisions related to electrical energy savings and created a separate energy efficiency portfolio standard (see DSIRE record).

(2) HAWAII – Solar Water Heating Requirement for New Single-Family Homes Clarified

In June 2008, Hawaii enacted legislation, SB 644, with the intent to require solar water-heating (SWH) systems to be installed on all single-family new home construction. This law applied the requirement to all residential construction applying for a building permit and also contained several loopholes. HB 1464, enacted in June 2009, applied the requirement to new single-family home construction and clarified the legislative intent behind the statute to tighten some of the loopholes (see DSIRE record).

(3) HAWAII – Solar and Wind Energy Tax Credit Altered

HB 1464 and SB 464, enacted June 25, 2009, included provisions that altered Hawaii’s tax credits for solar and wind energy. HB 1464 addressed renewable-energy systems used to obtain a variance from the state’s solar water-heating system requirement. Solar and wind-energy systems installed on new single-family homes after December 31, 2009, that are used to get a variance from the SWH requirement will no longer be eligible for the tax credit or will have reduced eligibility. In addition, with the passage of SB 464, the tax credit is now refundable for certain taxpayers. (see DSIRE record/personal; see DSIRE record/corporate)

(4) MAINE – Solar Rights Established

With the enactment of HB 62 in June, Maine has established solar rights. After September 30, 2009, no ordinance, bylaw or regulation may prohibit a person from installing or using a solar-energy device (including a clothesline or drying rack) on residential property owned by that person or from using a clothesline or drying rack on leased or rented property. The installation and use of solar-energy devices may be restricted to protect public health and safety, buildings from damage, historic/aesthetic values (when a comparable alternate is available), and to protect shorelands (under shoreland zoning provisions) [see DSIRE record].

(5) MASSACHUSETTS – Marblehead Municipal Light Department offers Solar Rebates

Marblehead Municipal Light Department offers eligible customers a rebate for photovoltaics (PV) installations. This utility is not required under law to contribute to the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust (Trust), and therefore its customers are not eligible to receive rebates through the statewide Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) program. However, Marblehead decided to offer the same incentive levels to its eligible customers; therefore, the eligibility criteria and incentive levels generally mirror the eligibility and incentives offered under the MTC’s Commonwealth Solar program (see DSIRE record).

(6) MASSACHUSETTS – Final Net-Metering Rules Adopted

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) has issued final rules for net metering and neighborhood net metering. The new rules take effect July 10, 2009. Net-metered systems are allowed to over-generate relative to the on-site load. Net excess generation (NEG) credits are treated favorably and may be carried forward indefinitely or allocated to other customers (subject to rules and limitations). Renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with customer electricity generation are the property of the customer (see DSIRE record).

(7) MISSOURI – PSC Improves Insurance Requirements for Distributed Generation

The Missouri Public Service Commission has lowered the amount of liability insurance required for grid-tied distributed generation. Effective September 30, 2009, liability insurance is not required for systems up to 10 kW, and $100,000 is required for larger systems. In October 2008, the commission adopted rules for the interconnection of net-metered systems up to 100 kW, pursuant to S.B. 54 of 2007. These rules required generators to carry liability insurance of at least $100,000 for systems up to 10 kW and $1 million for systems larger than 10 kW (see DSIRE record).

(8) NEW YORK – Additional Funding for PV Incentive Program Authorized

New York’s PV Incentive Program has received supplemental funding of $15 million in order to continue operations through 2009. The additional money comes from unencumbered funds in the state’s RPS program (mostly from projects contracted through “Main Tier” solicitations that were subsequently canceled). The addition increases the total 2008-2009 program budget to roughly $75 million (see DSIRE record).

(9) NORTH CAROLINA – Progress Energy Dips Toe into Solar Hot Water

Progress Energy, an investor-owned electric utility, is now accepting applications for a new pilot solar water-heating rebate program. The utility is offering $1,000 rebates to up to 150 residential customers. Progress Energy will meter all systems and assume ownership of all renewable-energy credits (RECs) [see DSIRE record].

(10) PENNSYLVANIA – PUC Adopts Revised RPS Rules

Act 129 of 2008 amended the Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) by designating certain hydropower and biomass facilities as “Tier I” resources. The act also required the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission to increase at least quarterly the Tier I percentage requirements to reflect energy production from newly eligible hydropower and biomass facilities. The revised rules describing this practice were adopted in late May 2009 and are in effect for the 2009-2010 compliance year (see DSIRE record).

(11) SOUTH CAROLINA – Solar Tax Credit Expanded to Include Small Hydro

SB 1141, enacted in July 2008, extended South Carolina’s personal and corporate solar tax credits to small hydropower. This bill takes effect July 1, 2009. The tax credit is equal to 25% of system costs for hydropower systems and for solar-energy systems used for heating water, space heating, air cooling, energy-efficient daylighting, heat reclamation, energy-efficient demand response, or electricity generation (see DSIRE record/personal; see DSIRE record/corporate)


Interview of the Week: IREC / ATT&E and Hands On Solar, setting the curve In PV teacher training

The fervor for a green economy is creating the demand for a green workforce. But how does it materialize? Where does it start? What does it look like? For Brian Hurd, it started in 2006 when, as a vocational instructor at the East Los Angeles Skills Center (ELSAC), he saw solar energy training was ready for prime time. So, he established a solar course of study to prepare ELSAC students to enter the growing field. MORE


irecusa.org Extra Extra! IREC Announces its 16th Annual Search for Innovative Renewable Energy Projects and Programs

Each year, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. recognizes individuals and organizations that have implemented innovative projects during the past year that promote and accelerate the adoption of renewable energy technologies. Deadline to submit applications is COB, Thursday, July 30, 2009. MORE


Grants/RFPs

(12) New York Power Authority Request for Expressions of Interest

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. Responses due 7/7/09. NYPA Contact: John Markowitz, fax: 914-681-6860.

(13) EPA Climate Showcase Communities

EPA announced the availability of up to $10 million in “Climate Showcase Communities” grants for local and tribal governments to establish and implement climate change initiatives. EPA expects to award approximately 30 cooperative agreements ranging from approximately $100,000 to $500,000. Approximately 5 percent of the funds ($500,000) are set aside

for tribal governments. Closing Date: July 22, 2009.

(14) Smart Grid Investments- Recovery Act

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.

(15) DOE Announces Funding for Local-Level Solar Installer Training

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a new funding opportunity under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to expand solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar heating and cooling (SHC) system installer training. The closing date for applications is July 30, 2009. To read the full funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0000078), click on “Search Public Opportunities” on the right-hand side of the page. Under “Search Criteria,” select “Issuing Office,” enter “Golden Field Office,” then click on “Search.” Once the screen comes up, look for the announcement named “Recovery Act: Solar Market Transformation.” The announcement is split into two topics; the solar installer training is covered under Topic 2. Applications must be submitted through FedConnect to be considered for award. Applicants must register with FedConnect; instructions for registering are available in the FedConnect Quick Start Guide

(16) USDA Invites Applications for REAP Grants, Loan Guarantees

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Program has issued a Notice of Solicitation of Applications for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The deadline to apply for grants and loan guarantees under this solicitation is July 31, 2009. Grants and loan guarantees will be awarded for investments in renewable energy systems, energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy feasibility studies. Eligible renewable energy projects include wind, solar, biomass and geothermal; and hydrogen derived from biomass or water using wind, solar or geothermal energy sources. Grants are limited to 25% of a proposed project’s cost; a loan guarantee may not exceed $25 million (see DSIRE record).

(17) 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

(18) DOE’s State Energy Program

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. Closing date for applications: 8/01/09. For more info, contact Lisa Kuzniar.

(19) Texas: Energy Projects Pre-K to 12

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.

(20) 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.

(21) DOE’s Green Power Network RFPs

A number of new renewables RFPs are posted at DOE’s Green Power Network. You can subscribe to receive RFP updates.

(22) 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 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.

(23) Smart Grid Demonstrations – Recovery Act

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.

(24) 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.


FYI

(25) Tom Kimbis, Solar America Cities Director, says goodbye to DOE

“After 9 years here, it is time to move on to new adventures.” Still, Tom says he’s staying in the solar field. Soon, he says, he’ll give us details this summer about his new work. You can reach Tom by email. Thanks for all the great work, Tom. Happy to know you’re not going far.

(26) Register now for IREC’s Annual Meeting

Registration is now open for 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.

(27) IREC’s 2009 State & Stakeholder Newsletter Reader Assessment: Tell us how we’re doing

The IREC State & Stakeholder Newsletter, which is distributed semi-monthly to email subscribers and published on IREC’s website, tracks a range of market-oriented news, services and outreach tools valuable to the renewable energy community. If you want the best news about what’s going on in the states and cities, you’ll find it in IREC’s State & Stakeholder newsletter. We’re interested in knowing what you think about this newsletter, and your input will help us improve it.

(28) Registration and housing for Solar Power International 2009 Now Open

Register and make hotel reservations via SPI’s registration website. This year’s conference expects to draw more than 25,000, with 650+ exhibitors, top-notch keynote addresses, 200+ speakers, more than 65 breakout sessions and dozens of optional workshops.

(29) Deadline to apply for NABCEP fall exam is 7/17

The next NABCEP solar thermal and solar photovoltaic installer certification exams will be administered on Saturday, September 12, 2009. Application deadline for this test is Friday, July 17th. Applications received after the July 17th deadline will be considered for the March 2010 exam. Visit the NABCEP website for information.

(30) CALIFORNIA -Sierra Club Chapters Survey SoCal Municipalities’ Permit Fees & Processing

Installing rooftop solar panels is becoming more affordable for homeowners in Southern California, especially for those who live in towns with low permit fees. But while the material costs for solar panels are dropping, some towns charge over $1,500 just for a permit that costs under $325 elsewhere. Although some towns issue permits over-the-counter, others take as long as seven weeks.

(31) OREGON–NABCEP Photovoltaic Workshop to Be Offered

A class on Solar Electric System Design, Theory, and Practice will be offered July 21-23 in John Day, Oregon for electricians and others interested in becoming solar professionals. This class is structured to prepare participants to take the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Entry-level Certification exam, which will be offered at the end of the course. Instructor Ryan Mayfield of Renewable Energy Associates teaches PV courses at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon. Co-instructor Kyle Bolger of Sunflower Energy Solutions has been teaching with Solar Energy International throughout the United States, and is an accredited Institute for Sustainable Power Quality certified PV instructor. Both hold full NABCEP certification and Oregon LRT electrical licenses. Signup by July 9th. For more details, call 541-575-3633 or email

(32) 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:

(33) Solar Sonoma County holds 1st solar fair; more than 3,500 show up

Marty Roberts, Project Director for Solar Sonoma County, reports on the recent Solar Sonoma County Fair. Though this was the first fair for Sonoma County, Solar Sebastopol held fairs in 2003 and 2004.


EVENTS Calendar

For a more complete 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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