State & Stakeholder Newsletter, Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Volume #8, Issue #20

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: Guide to Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Financing Districts for Local Govt’s

–irecusa.org Extra Extra: November 12 webinar: Expedited permitting process for small PV systems with Bill Brooks

–Grants/RFPs

–FYI

–Events

About this Newsletter/How to Subscribe


State/Local News

(1) NORTHEAST -Boston-based Non-profit Establishes Community Lending Program for Solar

New Generation Energy’s Community Lending Program is providing low-interest loans for solar and solar water heaters for qualified entities in the Northeast. Both for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations are eligible for this program. Interest rates range from 0% to 5%, depending on the project and entities can borrow up to $100,000. Entities in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont are eligible to apply, and entities operating in middle and low-income communities are encouraged to apply.

(2) CALIFORNIA – Public Meeting to Discuss and Comment on the draft Best Management Practices and Guidance Manual: Desert Renewable Energy Projects

The staff draft joint-agency report titled “Best Management Practices & Guidance Manual: Desert Renewable Energy Projects” is now available on the California Energy Commission’s website under the 33% by 2020 proceeding (docket # 09-RENEW EO-01). The report currently is being reviewed by state and federal agencies. The manual will be the subject of a workshop in Victorville, California, on October 13, 2009. At the workshop, the manual will be discussed and comments encouraged. Written comments are due on October 27, 2009.

(3) FLORIDA – OUC, Petra Solar Launch Landmark Solar Demonstration Project

OUC and Petra Solar have teamed up to launch the first utility pole-mounted solar photovoltaic system in Florida. Ten of Petra Solar’s SunWaveTM intelligent photovoltaic solar systems are being installed on OUC utility poles along Curry Ford Road. Together the panels can generate up to 2 kilowatts, about enough to power a small home.

(4) HAWAII – Honolulu Passes Alternative Energy Property Tax Exemption

In September 2009, the Honolulu City Council unanimously passed Bill 58 to create a real property tax exemption for alternative energy improvements. This bill became effective October 1, 2009. The alternative energy property installed on a building, property, or land is exempt from property taxes for 25 years. Eligible alternative energy sources include solar, wind, hydropower, tidal, wave, solid waste and increased efficiency in fossil-fuel burning facilities. Energy sources based on fossil fuels, nuclear fuels or geothermal energy are not eligible for this exemption (see DSIRE record).

(5) HAWAII – Public Utilities Commission Establishes Feed-in Tariff

In September 2009, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) issued a decision and order establishing a feed-in tariff in Hawaii. The feed-in tariff will be offered by the three investor-owned utilities: HECO, MECO and HELCO. The feed-in tariff was created in accordance with the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, and serves to formalize some of the goals established in 2008. Several renewable energy technologies are eligible for the feed-in tariff, including solar photovoltaics, concentrating solar power, on-shore wind and in-line hydropower. The cap on project size varies by island and technology. Projects will receive a fixed rate for production over the 20-year contract. Program details, including the rates for different renewable energy technologies, must still be determined by the PUC (see DSIRE record).

(6) ILLINOIS -State Mandates the Maximum Setback for Small Wind

State law has established that no municipality or county government may require a wind turbine (or other renewable energy system) used for onsite energy generation to be setback more than 1.1 times the height of the system from the end user’s property line (see DSIRE record).

(7) LOUISIANA – New Orleans City Council Adopts Net Metering Changes

In June 2008, Louisiana SB 359 increased the maximum capacity of commercial and agricultural systems to 300 kW. In September 2009, the New Orleans City Council formally adopted this change and it is now effective for customers of Entergy New Orleans (see DSIRE record).

(8) MARYLAND – Windswept Grant Program Releases Revised Rules

Maryland has released revised rules for its Windswept Grant Program. The revised program will offer grants for residential and non-residential wind energy systems from 1 – 100 kilowatts (kW). The maximum cap for a grant is the lesser of $20,000 or 50% of the net cost after incentives. Grant amounts are calculated based on the normalized generating capacity of the system at 11 meters per second (~ 25 mph). The program will offer $2,800 per kW for the first 5 kW and $2,100 per kW for any additional capacity beyond 5 kW, up to the maximum incentive limit of $20,000. The program is currently not accepting applications, but will use the new rules when the program re-opens (see DSIRE record).

(9) MINNESOTA – Department of Natural Resources Offering Local Governments Solar Energy Grants

Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources now offers grants to local governments through the Solar Energy Legacy Grant program. This program will provide grants of up to$150,000 for the installation of solar thermal or solar photovoltaic systems within parks or on trails of regional or statewide significance. The grant requires at least a 25% cost share from the local government, which may be in the form of energy efficiency improvements on the project site. The program is funded at approximately $500,000 annually for Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011 (see DSIRE record).

(10) NEW YORK – Governor Patterson Announces Establishment of a New York Energy Policy Institute

Governor David A. Paterson today announced the creation of the New York Energy Policy Institute (NYEPI), a key initiative from the Governor’s State of the State address. NYEPI will coordinate the work of New York’s leading energy research centers, using their established expertise in the field to provide a resource for the state’s energy policymakers. To facilitate this coordination, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has released a request for proposals to establish the policy institute (see RFPs/Grants section).

(11) WASHINGTON – BEF and Northwest SEED Publish Northwest Community Solar Guide

The Northwest Community Solar Guide offers an in-depth look into the various forms of community solar projects. It explores the Community Solar movement and concepts; the financial and political restraints and opportunities; and a practical look at organizing and establishing a business model.

(12) WISCONSIN – Legislation Requires Development of Wind Energy Siting Rules

In October 2009, the governor of Wisconsin signed SB 185, directing the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) to establish detailed, statewide, wind energy siting rules based on input from a diverse set of interested stakeholders. The state of Wisconsin has longstanding laws protecting residents from unreasonable public and private restrictions on the installation of solar and wind energy systems. However, some provisions of the existing laws are sufficiently vague as to result in disagreement over what restrictions local governments are permitted to make. The enacted legislation requires the PSC to address important siting issues in greater detail (see DSIRE record).

(13) WISCONSIN – Solar PV Installation, Permitting and Code Seminar on Nov. 18th

We Energies welcomes nationally recognized solar-electric code expert John Wiles to Milwaukee on Nov. 18. Wiles, a program manager at the Southwest Technology Development Institute at New Mexico State University, has many years of experience assisting the PV industry, electrical contractors and electrical inspectors in understanding the PV requirements of the National Electrical Code (NEC). For more information, contact Connie Lindholm


Current & Best Practices: Guide to Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Financing Districts for Local Govt’s

The City of Berkeley and the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, have released a guide for local governments on energy efficiency and renewable energy financing districts (EFD). The guide provides case studies of the experience from trailblazing communities such as Berkeley and Palm Desert in California; Boulder County, Colorado; and Babylon, New York. Because the loans are secured by property liens, an EFD program provides virtually no risk to the local government’s general fund. Currently, 14 states have this sort of financing mechanism in place. MORE


irecusa.org Extra Extra! November 12 webinar: Expedited permitting process for small PV systems with Bill Brooks

The Solar America Board for Codes and Standards has just released a recommended permit process, Expedited Permit Process for PV Systems – A Standardized Process for the Review of Small-Scale PV Systems. This permit process was created to meet the needs of the growing, small-scale photovoltaic (PV) market in the U.S. and is applicable nationwide. It takes advantage of the many common characteristics inherent in most of the small-scale PV systems installed today to streamline both the application and approval of permits. Bill Brooks, author of the report, will present this free webinar. MORE


Grants/RFPs

(14) NYSERDA Releases RFP for New York Energy Policy Institute

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is seeking proposals to support the development, establishment, implementation, and management of a New York Energy Policy Institute (NYEPI). The purpose of the NYEPI is to tap into the extensive knowledge base of New York’s public and private institutions of higher learning in an effort to support interdisciplinary energy research, technology, and policy analysis, and to provide guidance to New York State’s decision makers on energy issues impacting New York State.

(15) North Carolina State Energy Office RFP For Non-Profit Energy Management

The State Energy Office requests proposals for providing energy efficiency services and implementing energy efficiency measures for private non-profit organizations located in North Carolina. The objective of this program is to ensure that a large number of non-profit organizations are provided with energy efficiency measures to reduce energy expenses, allowing more to be spent on program services. A secondary objective is to train volunteers to install some of the simple energy efficiency measures to further leverage program dollars and train more citizens in energy efficiency techniques and materials. Proposals are due no later than Friday, October 23, 2009 at 2 p.m. For additional information or questions go online or call 919-807-4525.

(16) City of Sacramento Issues RPQ for Solar PV Farm (SPV)

This Request for Qualifications (RFQ) solicits experienced companies to design, permit, finance, build, and operate a solar photovoltaic farm (SPV Farm) on the City of Sacramento’s 28th Street Landfill. Respondents to this RFQ must demonstrate experience and capacity to design, permit, finance, build, and operate a SPV Farm that generates electricity that can be sold for electrical use through a power-purchase agreement. Submittals must be prepared and delivered in accordance with the requirements set forth in this document. Statements of qualifications due by 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 21, 2009.

(17) New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) Issues Solicitation for Proposals in the Renewable Energy Grid Connected Program

In its 2009 Renewable Energy budget order, the Board directed the Office of Clean Energy (OCE) to develop a new program for funding with new 2009 NJCEP funding allocated through the NJCEP trust. The Board set the budget for this program within the 2009 NJCEP at $6,038,605 and now seeks proposals to facilitate the installation of onshore wind or biomass renewable electricity generating technologies at the economic terms and environmental performance most advantageous to the New Jersey resident ratepayer and taxpayer. Offshore wind, hydrokinetic projects, landfill gas injection into a natural gas pipeline or solar projects are not eligible for this solicitation. Responses are due by 5 P.M. November 30, 2009.


FYI

(18) 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.

(19) 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
  • Spire Solar
  • Tioga Energy
  • Deloitte

(20) Registration Still Open for Solar Power International 2009

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.

(21) AltaTerra Research Network Events: Larry Sherwood Presents on the U.S. Solar Market

Larry Sherwood will discuss current solar market trends, including preliminary results for 2009 and projections for 2010. The webinar is Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 12:00-1:00 PM ET. Online registration available until October 19th. Click here to register.

(22) 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.

(23) IREC Coordinates Solar Hot Water Systems Nationwide Training for Local Code Officials

With a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), IREC has been responding to mounting requests from local code officials for training on solar domestic hot water (SDHW) systems. From February to June, four workshops have been held in New York San Diego, Phoenix and Boston. New York, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Minnesota approved these workshops for continuing education credits (CEU’s)

(24) It’s a boy for SEPA’s Julia Judd Hamm

IREC wishes SEPA’s Julia Hamm and her new family all the best. Congratulations, Julia.

(25) DOE Loan Guarantees Webinar

The US Department of Energy is expected to open the window soon to apply for federal loan guarantees on loans to wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and other renewable energy projects that use commercially proven technologies. This new program-called the “Financial Institution Partnership Program” or “FIPP” because of the key role played by private lenders- differs substantially from the prior program that guarantees repayment of loans to projects that use innovative technologies. In this interactive webinar on October 15, 2009 1:00pm – 2:30pm EDT, the panelists will cover the main points about how the new program works and then move on to a discussion about how best to secure a guarantee for a project — the total dollar amount of guarantees that can be issued is limited — how long it will take, how much guaranteed debt is expected to cost and similar issues.

(26) 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

(27) Energy Trust launches improved website

With simplified navigation, enhanced promotional areas and an engaging voice, the new Energy Trust website is designed to make it easier for customers to find energy-saving solutions, understand benefits and get started. The site quickly directs users to Energy Trust cash incentives, contractors who can do the work and other resources appropriate for them. The site also makes it easier for trade allies to get the information they need about trainings, incentives, special events and resources specific to the programs they work with.

(28) Alliance for Clean Energy (ACE) NY’s 3rd Annual Fall Conference and Membership Meeting

ACE New York, a nonprofit organization representing owners and developers of renewable energy technology including wind, hydro, solar, fuel cells, biomass, energy efficiency and demand response providers. The two-day event (October 20-21) at the Desmond Hotel & Conference Center, Albany, NY, is open to the public and will feature keynote addresses from Gil Quiniones, Chief Operating Officer of the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli (invited). Contact: Laura Lyman, ACE NY: 518.432.1405.


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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