State & Stakeholder Newsletter, June 3, 2009

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Volume #8, Issue #11

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 in WA? Yes, and lots of it

–Current and Best Practices: NYSERDA Releases Statewide Map of EE & RE Training Facilities

–irecusa.org Extra Extra: DSIRE Solar Website Unveiled

–Grants/RFPs

–FYI

–Events

About this Newsletter/How to Subscribe


State/Local News

(1) COLORADO – Sales & Use Tax Exemption Extended to Solar Thermal

Colorado has enacted legislation extending the state’s existing sales and use tax exemption for various renewable energy systems to solar-thermal systems (see DSIRE record).

(2) CONNECTICUT–CCEF Grants $2.3M to Bring 575kW of PV Online

The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) announced recently that solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at Flood Middle School (40.18kw) in Stratford; Naugatuck High School (311.49kW) in Naugatuck; North Stonington Town Garage (15.01kW), North Stonington; and Newtown Youth Academy (211.27kW), in Newtown, are completed and successfully operating. These four installations bring on line more than 575 kilowatts (kW) of solar energy generating capacity and were made possible, in part, by grants totaling some $2.3 M from CCEFs On-Site Renewable Distributed Generation Program.

(3) KANSAS – New RPS Adopted

With the recent enactment of H.B. 2369, Kansas has become the 29th U.S. state to adopt a renewables portfolio standard (RPS). The new RPS requires the state’s electric utilities to obtain 20% of their peak demand capacity from eligible renewables by 2020. The Kansas Corporation Commission will establish rules to administer the requirement within 12 months (see DSIRE record).

(4) KANSAS – Net Metering Finally Established

The same bill (H.B. 2369) that established a renewables portfolio standard in Kansas also requires the state’s investor-owned utilities to offer net metering for residential systems up to 25 kilowatts and non-residential systems up to 200 kilowatts in capacity. Utilities are required to offer net metering until the aggregate generating capacity of all net-metered systems equals 1% of the utility’s peak demand during the previous year (see DSIRE record).

(5) MAINE – Solar Rebate Funding Stimulated

In Maine, rebates for photovoltaic (PV) and solar-thermal installations have generally been unavailable in 2009. However, legislation (L.D. 220) enacted in early May 2009 directs the Maine Public Utilities Commission to utilize funding from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to increase funding for the state rebate program by $500,000 per year for fiscal years 2009-10 and 2010-11. The additional funding and amended rules will be available after the federal government approves the use of these funds. Note that rebates for small-wind are still available (under the same program) and will be subject to the amended rules as well (see DSIRE record).

(6) MARYLAND – Sales Tax & Property Tax Exemptions Extended to Small Wind

Maryland has enacted legislation (H.B. 1171) that adds residential wind-energy systems to the list of technologies eligible for sales tax and property tax exemptions in the state. Previously, similar exemptions and special assessments were available only for to photovoltaic, solar water heating, solar heating and cooling, and geothermal systems. The law takes effect July 1, 2009 (see DSIRE record for sales and use tax exemption; see DSIRE record for property tax exemption for solar and small wind).

(7) MARYLAND – 3rd-Party Ownership Options for Net Metering Expanded

Maryland has enacted legislation (S.B. 981) that revises the definition of “customer-generator” to include a customer “that contracts with a third-party that owns and operates” an eligible renewable-energy system. Separately, H.B. 1057 extended net metering to combined heat and power systems up to 30 kilowatts in capacity. Both bills take effect July 1, 2009 (see DSIRE record).

(8) MICHIGAN – PSC Adopts Revised Net Metering, Interconnection Rules

The Michigan Public Service Commission’s revised net metering and interconnection rules implement the provisions of legislation enacted in 2008 (Public Act 295). Net metering is available for renewable-energy systems up to 20 kilowatts in capacity. Utilities are required to file revised tariffs by the end of June 2009. The revised interconnection standards are generally similar to the existing standards, but the new standards are more detailed and include improved customer protections (see DSIRE record for net metering rules; see DSIRE record for interconnection rules)

(9) MISSISSIPPI: IOU Offers Incentives for Geothermal Heat Pumps

Mississippi Power, an investor-owned utility, has included geothermal heat pumps as an eligible technology for its Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program and EarthCents Financing Program. Residential customers can receive a $500 rebate for the installation of a geothermal heat pump, and a loan of up to $10,000 with a 9.9% interest rate and six-year term (see DSIRE record for Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program; see DSIRE record for EarthCents Financing Program).

(10) PENNSYLVANIA – Long-Awaited Solar Rebate Program Takes Effect

The PA Sunshine program offers rebates to residents and small businesses that install photovoltaic (PV) and solar-thermal energy systems in the state. The PV portion offers rebates of $2.25/W for residential systems up to 10 kW and rebates of $1.75 – $2.25/W for installations up to 200 kilowatts by small businesses. Solar-thermal rebates of 25% of the installed cost, up to $2,000 for residents and $20,000 for small businesses, are also available. Low-income incentives are set at 35% of installed costs for both PV and solar thermal (see DSIRE record).

(11) TEXAS – Green Mountain Energy Opens Renewable Rewards Buyback Program

Green Mountain Energy, a retail provider of green electricity, has activated the Renewable Rewards Buyback program, which compensates owners of home-sited renewable-energy systems at the retail electricity rate for energy production of up to 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month. Energy production in excess of 500 kWh per month receives 50% of the retail rate (see DSIRE record).

(12) VIRGINIA – Commission Establishes Solid Interconnection Standards

Virginia’s State Corporation Commission (SCC) has adopted comprehensive interconnection procedures that will take effect July 1, 2009. The interconnection procedures set three tiers of review for interconnection requests for all eligible technologies and systems up to 20 MW. Virginia’s new interconnection procedures do not apply to net-metered systems. (Separate procedures apply to net-metered systems.) [see DSIRE record].

(13) VIRGINIA – New Law Clarifies Net Metering Terms

Virginia has enacted legislation (HB 2155) authorizing electric utilities to approve a higher capacity limit for net-metered systems than the current limits. The new law also specifies that customer-generators own the renewable-energy credits (RECs) associated with their facilities, and that when a customer enters into a power-purchase agreement with the utility, the customer has a one-time option to sell RECs to the utility. (This provision does not preclude the customer and utility from voluntarily entering into an agreement for the sale and purchase of excess electricity or RECs at any other time.) The bill also permits customers that are served on time-of-use tariffs to participate in net metering. The Virginia State Corporation Commission must adopt regulations to implement HB 2155 (see DSIRE record).

(14) VIRGINIA – Municipal Clean Energy Financing Authorized

Virginia is among a handful of states that have adopted a new policy that has been hailed as revolutionary, one that is a game changer when it comes to distributed generation: clean energy municipal financing. Virginia now offers localities the option of authorizing contracts to provide loans for clean energy improvements to individual property owners. Loans are repaid in the form of increased property taxes. A local government must opt in to this policy via ordinance and determine program specifics, including which kinds of distributed generation and energy efficiency improvements would be eligible, as well as the financing terms of the loan.

(15) WISCONSIN – MGE to Expand Solar Buyback Program

Madison Gas & Electric (MGE), an investor-owned utility, has established a buy-back program that offers a production incentive of $0.25/kilowatt-hour for customer-sited photovoltaic systems up to 10 kilowatts in capacity. In May 2009, MGE received approval from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission to increase the overall size of the program from 300 kilowatts to one megawatt (see DSIRE record).


Interview of the Week: Solar in WA? Yes, and lots of it

Lately, it seems like it’s all Washington State renewable news, all the time. A slew of recently passed policies have the potential to dramatically increase solar energy’s presence in the State. MORE


Current and Best Practices: NYSERDA Releases Statewide Map of EE & RE Training Facilities

NYSERDA has just released a new brochure showing energy efficiency and renewable energy training facilities in NYS. MORE


irecusa.org Extra Extra! DSIRE Solar Website Unveiled

DSIRE, the nation’s most comprehensive source of information on financial incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency, has launched a new solar-specific web site for solar connoisseurs. MORE


Grants/RFPs

(16) California Energy Innovations Small Grant Program

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.

(17) 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.

(18) 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.

(19) 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).

(20) 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

(21) 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.

(22) 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.

(23) 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.

(24) 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.

(25) 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.

(26) 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.

(27) 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

(28) Next IREC Telephone Seminar on June 23rd: State Solar Policy and Market Trends

The next IREC Webinar on Tuesday, June 23, at 2pm EDT (1pm CDT, noon MDT, 11am PDT, 10am Alaska, 8am Hawaii) will provide a summary of state policy trends and the resulting solar installations. Rusty Haynes of the N.C. Solar Center at N.C. State University will discuss state policies and trends based on research associated with the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE). Larry Sherwood of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. will discuss solar installations trends in states. Pre-registration is required.

(29) Save Oct. 26th for IREC’s 2009 Annual Meeting Workshop in Anaheim; Be there

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.

(30) Virtual Energy Forum

The Virtual Energy Forum is a two day online-only event focused on how leading companies can adopt better energy management practices to cut costs, while at the same time adopting clean energy alternatives — presenting alternative energy technologies, policies, and best practices in a live, interactive environment. Speakers include Austin Energy’s Karl Rabago and Senior Director of EERE, Mark Ginsburg. Registration is free.

(31) ASES National Solar Tour

The American Solar Energy Society has launched an online registration tool to help communities across the U.S. participate in the National Solar Tour.

(32) DOE Issues RFI for Solar Policy and Analysis Regional Centers

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.

(33) 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:

(34) Tribal Business Development and Project Financing & Optional One-Day Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Training

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.


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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