Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Volume #8, Issue #19
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 & Best Practices: Interconnection Rulemaking 101: A conversation with IREC’s Jason Keyes
–Newsmaker Interview: President Obama Goes to Hudson Valley Community College and meets Joe Sarubbi
–irecusa.org Extra Extra: Spire Solar and UNICOR to provide solar modules to the U.S. government
About this Newsletter/How to Subscribe
Dissatisfied with the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) bill sent to him by the California State Legislature, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the legislation and instead signed an executive order requiring all California utilities — including municipal utilities — to obtain 33% of their electricity come from renewables by 2020. The executive order also shifted the regulatory authority to the California Air Resources Board, with the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission serving in advisory roles (see DSIRE record).
(2) COLORADO – PUC Adopts Final Rules for Net Metering, Interconnection
In April 2009, Colorado enacted legislation (SB 51) amending the state’s net metering rules. The bill, which took effect in September, prompted the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to adopt emergency rules. The PUC has since adopted final rules, which are functionally similar to the emergency rules, with the exception of a few minor provisions. While the new rules mostly addressed net metering, they also relaxed some of the insurance requirements associated with interconnection (see DSIRE record: net metering; see DSIRE record: interconnection)
Municipal utilities in Delaware generally offer their customers rebates for photovoltaic (PV) and small wind-energy systems equal to 33.3% of installed costs, up to $15,000 for residential systems and $30,000 for commercial systems. The City of Dover recently reduced its rebate levels for PV and small wind to 25% of installed costs, with a maximum rebate of $7,500 for residential systems and $15,000 for commercial systems. (Rebates for other eligible technologies remain the same across all municipal utilities (see DSIRE record).
(4) MASSACHUSETTS – Commercial Wind Incentives Unveiled
As part of the Commonwealth Wind Program, Massachusetts is now offering grants and loans for commercial wind-energy projects with a capacity of two megawatts or greater. Through the Commercial Initiative, grants of up to $55,000 are available for feasibility studies, and loans of up to $250,000 are available for pre-development activities. Applications for the first round of funding are due October 26, 2009, and two additional rounds are planned for 2010.
The New Jersey Office of Clean Energy has launched a domestic solar water-heating pilot rebate program for residential electric customers. Rebates will be issued at a flat rate of $1,200 per system for domestic solar hot water heating systems that supplement, replace or retrofit an existing electric water heater. Rebates will only be issued for systems purchased from September 9, 2009, through December 31, 2009. The OCE reportedly intends to fund 400 systems under the pilot program — and possibly more, if federal stimulus money is available (see DSIRE record).
New York has enacted legislation (A.B. 2442) that allows net metering for residential combined heat and power (CHP) and fuel cell systems up to 10 kilowatts in capacity. However, unlike other technologies eligible for net metering in New York, CHP and fuel cell systems will receive only the avoided cost rate (as opposed to the retail rate) for generation in excess of usage during a billing period. State utilities must adopt revised tariffs and contracts to implement these changes (see DSIRE record).
Blue Ridge EMC is offering $500 rebates for residential solar water-heating systems. The cooperative utility will use the renewable energy credits generated by the systems to help it meet its requirements under North Carolina’s renewables portfolio standard (see DSIRE record).
In partnership with certain banks, the Ohio Treasury is offering reduced-rate loans to Ohio homeowners who improve energy efficiency or install renewable-energy systems, including solar-thermal water heaters, photovoltaic systems and small wind-energy systems (see DSIRE record).
(9) TEXAS – Utilities Initiate PV Rebate Programs
Three utilities owned by American Electric Power (AEP) – AEP Texas Central Company, AEP Texas North Company, and Southwestern Electric Power Company – are now offering rebates of $2.50 per watt DC for new residential and commercial PV installations. In total, the three utilities intend to offer $1.35 million in incentives during 2009 and 2010, split up by program year and by utility. At least 50% of the program budgets of the Texas Central Company and Texas North Company are reserved for residential systems during both program years and for the Southwestern program in 2010 (see DSIRE record: AEP Texas Central Company; see DSIRE record: AEP Texas North Company; see DSIRE record: Southwestern Electric Power Company).
Vermont’s Public Service Board has issued an order establishing interim rates for the state’s new feed-in tariff, which was created by legislation enacted in May 2009. In all but the case of farm-produced methane, these rates are the default rates set by the enabling legislation. The rate for solar remains $0.30/kWh; the rate for small wind (15 kilowatts or less) remains at $0.20/kWh. The Public Service Board has not yet finished its work, however, as it works to finalize program rules and details as well as final rates by January 15, 2010 (see DSIRE record).
Current & Best Practices: Interconnection Rulemaking 101: A conversation with IREC’s Jason Keyes
Utah has recently opened its interconnection docket, based on half a dozen workshops conducted in 2007 and 2008. According to Jason Keyes of Keyes and Fox, IREC’s legal firm for regulatory work, not only does the draft rule look pretty good, but the process was efficient. I wanted to know how it went, and what happens next. MORE
Newsmaker Interview: President Obama goes to Hudson Valley Community College and meets Joe Sarubbi
Wednesday, September 16, 2009 started off a typical work day at Hudson Valley Community College for Joe Sarubbi, over-scheduled with meetings and phone calls, and dozens of emails to go through. It was also his wife’s birthday. But it wasn’t until that afternoon when Wednesday became a very atypical work day. MORE
irecusa.org Extra Extra! Spire Solar and UNICOR to provide solar modules to the U.S. government
DOE is seeking information regarding the PV Manufacturing Initiative. This initiative intends to accelerate development and provide a strong base for a domestic U.S. PV industry. Three separate models are currently under consideration.
See additions to the Renewable Energy RFPs at The Green Power Network.
The solicitation “Purchase and Install New Solar Panels and Demo Old Panels at Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah” is available on line.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)– Workforce Training For The Electric Power
Sector Grant offers two Topic Areas of Interest: Topic A is Developing and Enhancing Workforce Training Programs for the Electric Power Sector. Topic B is Smart Grid Workforce Training.
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.
IREC wishes to thank these very generous sponsors for our 2009 Annual Meeting scheduled for Monday, October 26 in Anaheim:
- We Energies
- Spire Solar
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.
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.
(19) Solar ABCs Stakeholder Meeting Friday October 30
The members of Solar America Board for Codes and Standards (Solar ABCs) will report on two years’ of progress in developing many codes and standards for new and existing solar technologies. Comments and recommendations from all stakeholders are invited at this meeting on Friday, October 30, 2009, 8 am-12:30 pm, Anaheim CA after the Solar Power Conference. Register
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.
The 2009 National Solar Tour features open-house tours of solar powered and energy efficient homes in some 3,000 communities in 48 states across the U.S. This is the world’s largest grassroots solar event. Find a solar tour near you.
On Thursday, October 1 in Cupertino, CA, an interactive event with solar industry leaders, training organizations and economic experts will chart the course for workforce development needs over next three years. General economic trends and projections for the solar industry will be discussed. For more information, contact Fabienne Rodet.
(23) Solar ABCs Begins New Study Reports
Last year Solar ABCs conducted a Gap Analysis to identify issues that were not being addressed in ongoing codes and standards work. As a result of the priorities identified, Solar ABCs is beginning work on 11 study reports including PV Module Rating Tolerance, a Standard to Certify the Accuracy of Inverter Meters, and the Potential Impacts of Advanced Metering Infrastructure on Renewable Energy Policy. If you are interested in providing input or reviewing draft reports on any of these topics, please contact Larry Sherwood.
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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