State & Stakeholder Newsletter, November 18, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Volume #8, Issue #23
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, Interconnection/Net Metering)

–Solar America Cities:  City of Santa Rosa’s Clean Energy Advocate

–Newsmaker Interview:  ISPQ: Building the renewable energy workforce:  A conversation with IREC’s Pat Fox

–Of Note:  PACE Programs:  States lead, feds follow

–irecusa.org Extra Extra:  IREC launches newly redesigned website

–FYI

–Events

–About this Newsletter/How to Subscribe


State/Local News

(1)  ARIZONA – City of Bullhead City issues RFQ for 50kW at City Hall
The City of Bullhead City, Arizona has initiated a solicitation for statements of qualification for design-build services of a 50kW photovoltaic system to be constructed at City Hall.  A pre-submittal conference is scheduled for November 30 and the solicitation period ends December 7. Contact Lee Creiglow, 928.763.0124 for details and to receive the RFQ packet.

(2)  CALIFORNIA – PG&E Voluntarily Expands Aggregate Cap for Net Metering
The aggregate capacity of net metered PV systems in PG&E’s service territory is scheduled to reach the state-mandated cap of 2.5% of peak demand sometime in 2010.  Efforts to amend the rules during the 2009 legislative session faltered.  While key legislators have vowed to make it a priority at the start of the 2010 session, PG&E has allayed fears of stalled projects by voluntarily increasing their aggregate capacity cap to 3.5% of peak demand (see DSIRE record).

(3) COLORADO – Xcel’s Solar*Rewards Incentive for Medium Tier 2 Projects Steps Down
Last month, Xcel announced the new declining structure for their solar PV renewable energy credit (REC) purchases through the Solar*Rewards program.  Since that time, the REC purchase price for systems between 100.1 kilowatts (kW) and 500 kW has taken its first downward step from $125/REC to $115/REC.  As of October 12, 2009, all other classes of systems are still on Step 1, but only 79 kW remains in Step 1 for customer-owned systems less than 10 kW (see DSIRE record).

(4) FLORIDA –Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption Repealed
On November 4, 2008, Florida voters approved Amendment 3.  This amendment removed the 10-year duration of the renewable energy property tax exemption for residential property. The amendment also struck the section in the state constitution that established the original guidance upon which the renewable energy property tax exemption was based.  This created a contradiction that was expected to be corrected by legislation, but was not addressed in the 2009 legislative session.  In light of this, the Florida Department of Revenue recently issued a bulletin explaining the impact of the amendment and clarifying that the Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption has been repealed.  For more information, see the bulleti (see DSIRE record).

(5) ILLINOIS – Solar Energy Rebate Program Re-opens as the Solar and Wind Energy Rebate Program
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has reopened its solar rebate program, which has been closed for approximately six months. In addition to solar, the program is now offering rebates to small wind systems.  Additionally, the cap has been increased from $10,000 to $50,000.  DCEO is encouraging applicants to reserve funds prior to making any investments to ensure eligibility for the rebates (see DSIRE record).

(6) MARYLAND – State Introduces Rebates for Mid-Size Solar
The Maryland Mid-Size Solar Program offers rebates to businesses and non-profits for the installation of PV systems ranging in capacity from 20 – 100 kilowatts (kW) and solar water heating systems with a collector area of at least 100 square feet. The PV rebates are determined according to a tiered structure which provides an incentive of $500 per kW for the first 20 kW, $250 per kW for the next 30 kW, and $150 per kW for the next 50 kW. Solar water heaters are eligible for an incentive equal to 15% of installed costs.  The maximum incentive for both technologies is $25,000 (see DSIRE record).

(7) NEW YORK – LIPA Initiates First Phase of Two-Step Incentive Reduction for PV Rebates
The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) offers rebates ranging from $1.00 – $4.50 per watt for residential, commercial, non-profit, and government-owned PV systems under the Solar Pioneer and Solar Entrepreneur programs. The utility recently capped rebates at 50% of installed costs, although the schedule used to calculate incentives remains the same. It has been reported that a second phase of reductions will take place in January 2010, with that phase reducing incentives on a per watt basis (see DSIRE record).

(8)  NEW YORK – Legislature Passes PACE
In a special session held, New York State lawmakers unanimously passed legislation authorizing municipal loan programs for renewable and energy efficiency improvements on homes and Businesses.  Called PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing, these municipal programs allow homeowners to go solar and make efficiency improvements without any upfront cost (source:  The Vote Solar Initiative).

(9) OREGON – Energy Trust of Oregon Solar PV Rebate Program Incentive Decreases
In recent months, Energy Trust of Oregon has experienced an increased demand for rebates and has reduced the incentive offered to individual systems so that the rebate program does not run out of funds.  As of November 9, 2009, Energy Trust of Oregon’s Solar Electric Buy-Down Program incentives for residential, commercial, industrial, non-profit and government systems decreased by approximately $0.50/watt.  The maximum cap on the incentives available to commercial, industrial, non-profit and government systems also declined.  In addition, third-party owned systems, both at the residential and commercial scale, are now eligible to receive this incentive (see DSIRE record).

(10)  OREGON – Oregon Department of Energy Issues Temporary Administrative Rules for Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC)
In November 2009, the Oregon Department of Energy adopted temporary administrative rules (effective from November 3, 2009, to May 1, 2010) for the Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC).  These rules more stringently define criteria for separate and distinct facilities for the purpose of applying for multiple credits. The new rules also allow the Oregon Department of Energy to revoke certificates and recapture the tax credit if a project does not produce the amount of energy, jobs, or conservation described in the application. Any projects that have not been pre-certified by November 3, 2009 are subject to the new rules (see DSIRE record).

(11) SOUTH CAROLINA – Progress Energy Offers Commercial Solar Water Heating Incentive in South Carolina
Progress Energy Carolinas (PEC) is now offering an incentive for their non-residential customers in North Carolina and South Carolina to install solar water heating systems. This incentive was already available in North Carolina and has recently been expanded to include South Carolina customers, as well.  PEC will pay $20 for each renewable energy credit (REC) generated by the solar water heating system for a period of 10 years (see DSIRE record).

(12) VIRGINIA – Reservation Period for Rebates Now Open
The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) is utilizing up to $15 million over three years to provide rebates on solar thermal heating, solar photovoltaic (PV) installations and small wind systems. The funding was made available from the State Energy Program allocation from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  As of November 4, 2009, the reservation period for these rebates is open. This is the first required step in order to qualify for a rebate. Funds will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis (see DSIRE record: residential see DSIRE record: commercial).


Solar America Cities: The City of Santa Rosa’s clean energy advocate

Even if you live in a county where your GHG emissions reduction targets are 25% below 1990 levels by 2015, your Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP) is one of four successful local government property assessed clean energy programs in the U.S., and your solar installation goal is 25MW in by 2011, you still aren’t satisfied.  MORE


Newsmaker Interview:  ISPQ: Building the renewable energy workforce:  A conversation with IREC’s Pat Fox

It’s been busier than usual for IREC’s renewable energy training and accreditation department.    IREC’s Annual Meeting and Solar Power International 2009 conference in Anaheim last month was an impressive gathering of the industry—nearly 25K attendees and some 1,000 exhibitors, many of whom, it seemed, were talking about building the green workforce.  IREC is actually doing it.  MORE


Of Note:  PACE Programs:  States lead, feds follow

The PACE program is the trendiest state policy development over the last year, according to IREC’s 2009 Updates & Trends report released last month in Anaheim at its Annual Meeting.  MORE


irecusa.org:  Extra, Extra! IREC launches newly redesigned website

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. has just launched a redesigned website.  The home page features IREC’s six key program areas in distinctive boxes, described in easy-to-understand language, making navigation on the site easy.  IREC’s overall goal was to organize, economize and communicate who it is and what it does.  MORE


FYI

(13)  City of Santa Rosa Completes Phase II of its Fuel from Aquatic Biomass (FAB) Project
The City of Santa Rosa was an IREC Innovation Awardee in 2008 for its Fuel from Aquatic Biomass (FAB) project. Since then, the City recently finished building Phase II of the project, which was constructed to investigate the means of extracting usable energy from harvested algae and aquatic vegetation growing in municipal wastewater.

(14) REV Seeks Executive Director
Renewable Energy Vermont is looking for a full-time Executive Director. Click here to download the application. Position will remain open until filled. Contact hratrev@gmail.com for information.

(15)  ASES extends deadline to be a presenter at the 2010 conference
Deadline to submit proposals to be a presenter is Friday, November 20, 2009.  The conference is May 17-22, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.

(16) TAP Webcasts: State of the States 2009, and Invitation to PACE Programs
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Technical Assistance Project (TAP) for state and local officials is offering two free webinars on Wednesday, November 18:
–State of the States 2009: shows state rankings for adoption of renewable energy technologies and gives an overview of state policies that support renewable energy development on Wednesday, November 18, 3–4:15 p.m. ET.   Register

–Introduction to Property-Assessed Clean Energy Financing Programs:  Property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing programs enable local governments to raise money through the issuance of bonds or other sources of capital to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.  Wednesday, November 18, 1:00 – 2:15 p.m. ET.  Register

(17)  World Bank:  Looking for a Program Coordinator for the Scaling Up Renewable Energy for Low Income Countries under the Strategic Climate Fund Framework
Program Coordinator at the World Bank (Washington, D.C.) to coordinate with Multilateral Development Banks (MDB’s), and donors, and conduct technical and operational work with client countries and energy teams across the Bank.  Closing date: 12/8/09; three-year assingment.

(18)  Q&A for EECBG available from CA Energy Commission
The Questions and Answers document posted recently for the Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant Program has been revised with the addition of information about the Davis-Bacon Act.  Visit the Energy Commission’s website to download the latest version of the Q&As.  The Q&As may undergo additional changes in the future.


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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