State & Stakeholder Newsletter, Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Volume #8, Issue #15

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)

–Current and Best Practices: DOE’s Solar America Cities releases ‘Solar Powering Your Community: A Guide for Local Governments

–Interview of the week: Lakeland Electric Gets OK to add 15,000 SHW systems for its customers

– Extra Extra: IREC Releases 2008 Solar Market Trends Report




About this Newsletter/How to Subscribe

State/Local News

(1) CALIFORNIA – Palm Desert Races Through Round 3 of Property Tax Financing

Palm Desert’s Energy Independence Program is similar to the property tax financing program developed by Berkeley. After successfully administering two rounds of funding, Palm Desert began accepting applications for the third round of program funding on July 6, 2009. The full $2.5 million available for the third round were allocated in a matter of hours, with half of these funds dedicated to solar installations and the other half dedicated to energy efficiency improvements (see DSIRE record).

(2) HAWAII – Business Investment Tax Credit Temporarily Capped

Hawaii’s High Technology Business Investment Tax Credit allows investors to take a 100% tax credit for an investment in a qualified high-technology business over five years, with a credit cap of $2 million. SB 199, enacted in July 2009, limits the amount of credit a taxpayer may take for investments in a qualified high-tech business. For property placed in service on or after May 1, 2009, the credit is limited to 80% of the taxpayer’s income tax liability. This temporary cap will remain in place for tax years beginning January 1, 2009, until January 1, 2011. For these years, excess credit may not be carried over (see DSIRE record).

(3) ILLINOIS – Large Wind Turbines Now Eligible for Tax Benefits

New wind turbines 500 kW or greater in capacity and placed in service on or after July 1, 2009, may apply to be designated a “Wind Energy Business” within the Illinois “High-Impact Business Designation Program.” This designation, granted by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, allows the facility a full exemption from the state’s sales tax (6.25%) and any additional local sales taxes for building materials incorporated into the facility (see DSIRE record).

(4) LOUISIANA – Tax Credit for Residential Renewables Extended to Installers/Owners

Louisiana’s tax credit for solar and wind systems may be taken for systems installed on single-family or multi-family residential property. HB 858, enacted in July 2009, extends the tax credit to taxpayers that purchase and install systems. (Previously, the credit was available only to the owners of the residential property.) The new law also clarifies that only one credit may be taken per system. If the property is sold, the taxpayer who originally claimed the credit must disclose this, as the new owner will not be eligible for another tax credit on the same system (see DSIRE record).

(5) MAINE – Production Payments to Support Community-Based Renewables

Maine has established a production incentive, with two options, designed to spur the development of new, in-state, locally-owned renewable energy facilities. First, the owner(s) of a community-based facility may enter into a long-term purchase contract with fixed prices with an investor-owned utility. Alternatively, the owner(s) may choose to earn Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) that are 150% the value of a traditional REC. The Maine Public Utilities Commission needs iron out the details of this program by February 15, 2010 (see DSIRE record).

(6) MINNESOTA – PV Rebate Program Reactivated With New Guidelines

Minnesota’s solar rebate program now offers incentives for grid-tied or off-grid PV systems of $1.75/W (or $2.00/W if the installer is NABCEP-certified). Incentives are only available for residential applications up to 5 kW and small business applications up to 10 kW, although larger systems may be funded up to these limits. This fresh dose of program funding ($400,000) arrived from the Xcel Renewable Development Fund, but future additions from federal stimulus funds are expected (see DSIRE record).

(7) NORTH CAROLINA – Utility Offers Production Incentive for Non-Residential PV

Progress Energy, an investor-owned utility, has initiated a new program – the SunSense Commercial Photovoltaic (PV) Incentive Program – for non-residential customers in North Carolina and South Carolina. The utility will pay $0.18/kWh over a 20-year period for the electricity and renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by solar PV systems. This incentive is available to PV systems with a nameplate capacity of 10 kW to 250 kW (see DSIRE record).

Progress Energy is also offering to purchase RECs from non-residential solar water-heating systems for $20/MWh equivalent for 10 years. Systems with 1,200 to 4,000 square feet of collector area are eligible. Solar-thermal is an eligible technology under North Carolina’s renewable portfolios standard (RPS), Progress Energy will use the solar RECs associated with these programs to help it comply with the state requirement (see DSIRE record).

(8) RHODE ISLAND – Long-Term Contracting Requirement for Renewables

In addition to the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (16% by 2020), Rhode Island has established a separate and distinct long-term contracting requirement that requires certain utilities to solicit proposals and enter into long-term contracts for capacity, energy and attributes from new renewable-energy facilities. Utilities will be required to enter into long-term contracts for 90 MW in capacity, of which 3 MW must be in-state solar by 2014. The Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission will develop rules to implement the new program (see DSIRE record).

(9) RHODE ISLAND – Net Metering Enhanced

Rhode Island has modified its net-metering law to by improving the treatment of net excess generation. If a net-metered customer generates excess electricity during a billing period, the customer has an option to (1) carry the credits over to the next bill at a rate that is slightly less than the utility’s retail rate or (2) receive compensation in the form of a monthly check for the credits. In addition, certain customer classes are now permitted to aggregate up to 10 meters for the purpose of net metering (see DSIRE record).

(10) SOUTH CAROLINA – Utility Offers Production Incentive for Non-Residential PV

Progress Energy, an investor-owned utility, has initiated a new program – the SunSense Commercial Photovoltaic (PV) Incentive Program – for non-residential customers in North Carolina and South Carolina. The utility will pay $0.18/kWh over a 20-year period for the electricity and renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by solar PV systems. This incentive is available to PV systems with a nameplate capacity of 10 kW to 250 kW (see DSIRE record).

Current and Best Practices: DOE’s Solar America Cities releases ‘Solar Powering Your Community: A Guide for Local Governments

The U.S. Department of Energy developed this comprehensive resource to assist local governments and stakeholders in building sustainable local solar markets. The guide introduces a range of policy and program options that have been successfully field tested in cities around the country. The guide describes each policy or program, explains the benefits, provides implementation tips and options, and includes short examples from local governments across the U.S. MORE

Interview of the week: Lakeland Electric Gets OK to add 15,000 SHW systems for its customers

It was a dozen years ago, in 1997, when Lakeland Electric (LE), a municipal utility in Lakeland, Florida, offered its customers a simple solar heated hot water option: LE would own and maintain the systems and the customer would pay a small fee, only for hot water delivered to the faucet. It’s a variation on a theme, but LE is getting ready to launch a 30MW SHW initiative that should make its customers happy. MORE Extra Extra! IREC Releases 2008 Solar Market Trends Report

U.S. Solar Market Trends 2008IREC has just released its annual report, U.S. Solar Market Trends 2008. The report, authored by Larry Sherwood, provides public data on U.S. solar installations by technology, state, and market sector. Both PV and solar thermal installations grew rapidly in 2008. This work was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through the Solar Energy Technologies Program.



(11) 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. For more info, contact Donna Williams.

Letter of Intent Due Application Due

July 16, 2009 August 06, 2009 at 8:00 PM, ET

October 23, 2009 November 04, 2009 at 8:00 PM, ET

February 10, 2010 March 03, 2010 at 8:00 PM, ET

(12) 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 TOMORROW, July 30, 2009.

(13) 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).

(14) DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Program’s FOA: Solar America Cities-Technical Outreach

This project will provide comprehensive outreach to local governments to help them build sustainable solar infrastructures and expand their solar markets. The project will help accelerate solar energy deployment by proactively addressing the needs of local governments for technical information and guidance, focusing on many areas such as policies and regulations, financial incentives, training, and community engagement. The FOA opened on June 24, 2009. Closing date for proposals is October 15, 2009. FOA#: DE-FOA-0000086.

(15) We Energies supplemental grant for schools, nonprofits and units of government

We Energies will offer grants for qualified We electric customers (not-for-profit, schools and units of government) with the installation of a wind electric system over 20 kW and not more than 100 kW. Customer incentives are provided from We Energies Renewable Energy Development (RED) Program.

(16) FirstEnergy Ohio to procure REC’s through RFP

FirstEnergy Corp. has issued an RFP Request for Proposal (RFP) to secure renewable energy credits (RECs) for customers of its Ohio utilities – Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison – to help meet the renewable energy requirements established under Ohio’s new energy law. The RFP is seeking RECs for FirstEnergy’s Ohio utilities for 2009, 2010 and 2011. The companies established a web site to provide bidders with a central source of documents, data and other information for the RFP process. This information is available by accessing . Questions will be answered directly through the Web site. To participate in the RFP, bidders must submit credit information by July 27, 2009, with proposals due by August 7, 2009. The RFP Manager is Leah Bissonette, director,

Navigant Consulting. She can be reached at (516) 876-4036, or email.

(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) OUC Starts Pre-Qualification Process for 10-Megawatt Solar Project

OUC is requesting a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ09 No. 2744 OQ) to pre-qualify applicant teams for an upcoming request for proposals (RFP) to develop solar PV systems of up to 10 Megawatts. Only responders to the SOQ that meet the SOQ requirements (as determined by OUC) will be eligible to bid on the RFP. Special preference will be given to teams that include a North American Board of Certified Energy Providers (NABCEP) certified PV contractor on the proposed construction team. Emphasis will be placed on project teams that include a plan for local workforce recruitment for project design and construction. Responses to the SOQ are due September 3, 2009 at 3 p.m. EST. An electronic copy of the SOQ may be downloaded at OUC’s website Direct all responses to this SOQ or any questions to Donna Kinley.

(21) 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.

(22) CPS issues renewable energy RFP for 200 MW and RECs

CPS Energy has issued an RFP for renewable energy generated from up to 200 megawatts (MW) along with the associated Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for the units of energy generated. This purchase will be structured to include the total output from a defined portion of one or more generation facilities, for a period of not less than fifteen (15) years and possibly as much as twenty (20) years or more. CPS Energy requires the entire amount of renewable capacity specified in the contract be available no later than December 31, 2011. Proposals due by 5 pm CT on 9/1/09. Contact Raul Cardenas, Manager, Renewable Energy Programs, 210.353.2911.

(23) 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.

(24) 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


(25) 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.

(26) Submit your application for IREC’s 16th Annual Innovation Awards; Deadline TOMORROW

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.

(27) 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.

(28) TAP Web Seminars: How to Estimate Economic Impacts from Renewable Energy: 7/29

EERE’s Technical Assistance Project (TAP) for state and local officials sponsors Web seminars that explore state policies and analysis tools that help advance their renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. Get information on how to attend the next seminar, ask questions of the presenter on a blog, and link to presentations and materials from previous seminars in an archive.

(29) Hello to Pat Fox

Welcome Pat Fox, IREC’s newest team member for workforce development issues, who joined the IREC team recently, and not a moment too soon. Pat, an accomplished management leader with a proven track record in aligning an organization around a strategic vision, is updating IREC’s workforce development training directory and catalog. She’s also making sure news about workforce development is fresh and current for the IREC website. Pat is also an ISPQ auditor. She is a graduate of the Environmental Technology Program (Photovoltaics, Solar Thermal, and Small Wind) at Cape Cod Community College. You can meet Pat at IREC’s Annual Meeting in Anaheim in October.

(30) DSIRE adds property financing authorities to its site

These tax financing mechanisms allow property owners to borrow money to pay for renewable energy and/or energy-efficiency improvements. The amount borrowed by a property owner is usually repaid through an increased property tax assessment over a period of years. In general, local governments (such as cities and counties) that choose to offer property tax financing must be authorized to do so by state law. DSIRE will focus on state-level policies instead of locally-implemented programs.

(31) NABCEP elects new Chair and appoints new Board member

Don Warfield, BP Solar, is the new Chair of NABCEP, and AEE Solar’s, Jeff Spies, has been appointed to the Board.

(32) Solar Cities Conference coming to Pittsburgh

Leaders of more than 20 cities from across the Northeast will meet at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Oct. 15 and 16. The two-day conference will target cities with colder climates with the goal of advancing the integration of solar technology. The city will install its first of five planned projects at a city firehouse this fall.

(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 #190 and #191, 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) “Succeed” Newsletter provides information about this website quarterly through our “Succeed” Newsletter, a guide to the latest updates, handy tips and useful articles on how to best use Click here to sign-up to receive the Newsletter by email each quarter.

(35) SolarTech Interconnection Symposium at SEPA’s Solar Utility Conference

SolarTech’s Interconnection Symposium will bring together leaders from regulatory organizations, utilities, building jurisdictions and representatives from the integrator community, to gather data and generate a dialogue on the evolution and standardization of interconnection methods, standards, and proposed metrics across the photovoltaic (PV) industry on Thursday, July 30, 9:00am-5:00pm, at the San Jose Marriott ($200 fee). Visit the website for details; once there, select ‘special events.’ For more information, contact Fabienne Rodet at 650.804.2504.

(36) EPA Names Top 20 Organizations Running on Their Own Green Power

For the first time, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership recognized 20 partners for generating the most green electricity on site. Combined, the top 20 partners are generating and consuming more than 736 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of on-site green power annually. This is equivalent to the electricity needed to power more than 61,000 American homes annually. Local and State governments that made this list include:

Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts; City of San Diego; San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant; Nassau County, NY; City of San Francisco, CA; City of Portland, OR

City of Ann Arbor, MI

(37) EPA to host a free webinar on REC purchasing

On August 6, 2009 from 1:00-2:15pm EST, EPA’s Climate Leaders program will host a Webinar to discuss how organizations should approach using renewable energy credits (RECs) as part of their greenhouse gas reduction strategies. It will examine questions organizations should ask when purchasing RECs and discuss existing REC certification programs. The Webinar will feature presentations from Blaine Collison, Director of EPA’s Green Power Partnership, and Marty Sedler, Director of Global Utilities and Infrastructure at Intel Corporation. To register, click here.


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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