State & Stakeholder Newsletter, Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Volume #8, Issue #17

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: Vote Solar’s Poject: Permit: Streamlining Solar Permitting

–Newsmaker Interview: Solar America City/Houston: Space City Going Solar

–irecusa.org Extra Extra: IREC’s State-by-State Net Metering and Interconnection Tables Updated for August

–Grants/RFPs

–FYI

–Events

About this Newsletter/How to Subscribe


State/Local News

(1) GEORGIA – PSC Approves Increase in Cap for Georgia Power Solar Buyback Program

Georgia Power’s Solar Buyback Program was previously capped at 500 kilowatts (kW) and was fully subscribed. In July 2009, the Georgia Public Service Commission approved a tariff extending this program and allowing an additional 200 kW in capacity. Under this program, Georgia Power purchases electricity from photovoltaic (PV) systems at a rate of 18.31 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), up to an aggregate capacity of 200 kW (see DSIRE record).

(2) ILLINOIS – 6% Solar-Carve Out added to Renewables Portfolio Standard

Governor Quinn signed a bill strengthening Illinois Renewables Portfolio Standard. The legislation clarifies provisions related to compliance requirements for alternative retail electric suppliers. It also establishes that a minimum of 6% of the Renewables Portfolio Standard must be met by solar PV beginning in 2015 (see DSIRE record).

(3) ILLINOIS – Property Tax Financing Authorization Established

Illinois passed legislation authorizing municipal governments to enter into contractual assessments with private property owners to provide financing for certain projects. This legislation allows financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements made to the property. Currently, 14 states have signed legislation for Property Tax Financing Authorization (see DSIRE record).

(4) MASSACHUSETTS – Commonwealth Solar Commercial Rebate Levels Reduced

In mid-August, Commonwealth Solar reduced the base incentives for the commercial PV rebate program. Overall caps and funding remain the same. The program has also issued a new manual and an updated commercial application. Program officials have clarified that the incentives are based on the entire PV system for a building, regardless of the number of meters (see DSIRE record).

(5) NORTH CAROLINA – State Grant Program Gets Boost from ARRA

The NC Green Business Fund, a competitive grant program, has been greatly expanded using money allocated to the state from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Originally funded with $950,000 from the state’s general fund, the state increased the budget for FY 2009-2010 to $5 million. The grant program primarily targets the development and commercialization of “promising” renewable energy and green building technologies (see DSIRE record).

(6) SOUTH CAROLINA – PSC Approves Settlement to Standardize and Improve Net Metering

In August 2009, the South Carolina Public Service Commission issued a directive approving the recent net metering settlement signed by the individual intervenors, the Office of Regulatory Staff and the three investor-owned utilities (IOUs). This settlement agreement will improve the terms of net metering in South Carolina and will standardize the structure of net metering programs offered by the IOUs. Duke Energy, Progress Energy, and SCE&G must file revised net metering tariffs within 60 days of the directive (see DSIRE record: Duke); (see DSIRE record: Progress); (see DSIRE record: SCE&G)


Current and Best Practices: Vote Solar’s Project: Permit–Streamlining Solar Permitting

The Vote Solar Initiative, a non-profit organization with the mission of stopping global warming, fostering economic development and increasing energy independence by bringing solar energy into the mainstream, is working on the key policies necessary to bring solar to scale. Project: Permit–Streamlining Solar Permitting, a national map that will show permitting practices, is their latest effort to move solar forward. MORE


Newsmaker Interview: Solar America City/Houston: Space City Going Solar

I was born and raised in Houston, now the fourth largest city in the U.S., currently the largest city in Texas, and historically known by its denizens as ‘the energy captial of the world.’ Pedestrian friendliness-challenged, it’s the only one of three Texas Solar America Cities (Austin, San Antonio) without a municipal utility, but that’s not deterring its plans to solarize Space City. MORE


irecusa.org Extra Extra! August State-by-State Net Metering and Interconnection Tables Updated for August

Each month, IREC updates its state-by-state net metering and interconection tables. Click here to see the Net Metering Table; click here to see the Interconnection Table


Grants/RFPs

(7) Idaho OER Plans to Distribute Up to $4.2 Million in Stimulus Funds for Renewable Energy Enterprise Zones

The Idaho Office of Energy Resources (OER) is accepting grant proposals from Idaho cities and counties, in collaboration with renewable energy developers, to develop Renewable Energy Enterprise Zones (REEZ). A total of $4.2 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is targeted for this competitive grant program.


FYI

(8) 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.

(9) IREC thanks its 2009 Annual Meeting Sponsors

IREC wishes to thank these very generous sponsors for our 2009 Annual Meeting scheduled for Monday, October 26 in Anaheim:

  • We Energies
  • OUC

(10) 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.

(11) IREC Updates its University Directory and Renewable Energy Training Catalog

Pat Fox, IREC’s newest team member focused on workforce development issues, has been working on updating the information on this section of our website and expanding the features available within the Training Catalog and the University Directory.

(12) Rhone Resch Writes About Everyday Solar

The Salt Lake City’s examiner.com is running a summer op-ed series in which it asks leaders in the renewable energy and sustainability industries to speak about where we are today, and where we’ll be going tomorrow. Here’s Rhone’s article. (Rhone is Executive Director of the Solar Energy Industries Association).

(13) Solar ABCs Request Gap Analysis Input

The Solar ABCs will conducting a Gap Analysis to review the current state of the major codes and standards that bear on PV and to identify major gaps or needs that exist and are not being addressed in current work on codes and standards. The Solar ABCs will collect input from all stakeholders on these gaps or needs and prioritize them into a cohesive outline for the development of the Solar ABCs Annual Work Plan for future years. Click here for a document summarizing the current Solar ABCs activities. We ask for your input on activities, which Solar ABCs should focus is resources in future years. Send you suggestions to Larry Sherwood by October 1, 2009.

(14) Wisconsin’s Solar Decade

The fifth year for the Wisconsin Solar Decade Conference will held on Friday, October 2, 2009 at the Midwest Airline Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sponsored by Focus on Energy, We Energies, and Wisconsin Green Building Alliance. Online registration open.

(15) ASES’ Brad Collins on Heartbeat of America TV Show

Brad Collins, ASES’ Executive Director, was recently interviewed on the Heartbeat of America TV show by William Shatner and shared some thoughts on solar energy, green jobs, & ASES. The interview is set to air on the AmericanLife television network on Thursday morning, August 27 (times vary by location).

(16) NREL’s In My Backyard (IMBY) tool estimates renewable energy production

NREL’s IMBY tool estimates the electricity you can produce with a solar photovoltaic (PV) array or wind turbine at your home or business. IMBY uses a map-based interface to allow you to choose the exact location of your PV array or wind turbine. Based on your location, system size, and other variables, IMBY estimates the electricity production you can expect from your system. The In My Backyard tool was developed by NREL’s Electricity, Resources, and Building Systems Integration Center.


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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