State & Stakeholder Newsletter, December 16, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Volume #8, Issue #25
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, read IREC’s State & Stakeholder newsletter.


From the editor:

Jane PulaskiMORE THAN 500 INDUSTRY EXPERTS training the green workforce filled the meeting rooms at the third New Ideas in Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Workforce Education Conference in Albany, NY from November 18-20 2009.  Overfilled the rooms would be a more accurate description, and  though the conference is over, the work is not.  We feel that the exemplary work of the individuals who are shaping the direction of green workforce development in the U.S. merit recognition, and we’ll use this newsletter to do just that.  Future issues will highlight educators, trainers, instructors, educational centers, and others who are innovating and implementing new approaches to training in the rapidly growing green economy.

The 12/2/09 issue of this newsletter featured Dr. Mary Spilde, President of Lane Community College (LCC) in Eugene, Oregon.  For more than 20 years, and with visionary faculty like Roger Ebbage, LCC  has been at the front of the pack for energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE) programs.  In this issue, we highlight another community college administrator, Dr. Stephanie Smith, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Delaware Technical Community College (DTCC), who’s been busy helping DTCC make up for lost time with an enviable agenda for programs geared to training the green workforce.

The final issue for 2009 of the State & Stakeholder eNewsletter will arrive in your mailbox on Wednesday, December 30th.  As in years past, it will be a Year-in-Review issue, recalling some of the more noteworthy and significant news of the year.  That’ll be a challenge; it was an especially remarkable year for renewable energy news.  Until then, I hope your holidays are merry and bright.  And heartfelt thanks, as always, for reading this newsletter, and for supporting IREC.  

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In this Issue…

State & Local Headlines

Feature

Interview

Of note

On our radar

Upcoming events


State/Local Headlines

CALIFORNIA – Some Munis to Lower PV Incentive Levels
California requires all municipal electric utilities to provide PV rebates with incentive levels that step down over time. Some utilities have scheduled incentive levels to decline as specific capacity targets are met, while others reduce their incentives annually – either at the beginning of a new fiscal year or at the beginning of a new calendar year. Roughly 10 municipal utilities will reduce PV rebate levels on January 1, 2010 (see DSIRE record).

COLORADO – Xcel Energy Reduces Payments for Solar*Rewards RECs
Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards program provides upfront rebates of $2.00 per watt and an additional payment for renewable energy credits (RECs) for PV systems. Larger systems and systems owned by 3rd-party developers receive REC payments based on the actual electricity produced, while small customer-owned systems (< 10kW) receive an upfront capacity-based payment for RECs. In October 2009, Xcel announced a schedule for declining REC payments as certain capacity goals are met for different system sizes. On December 2, 2009, the REC payment for small customer-owned incentives moved down to the third step; the REC payment of these systems is now $0.85 per watt (see DSIRE record).

GEORGIA – Clean Energy Property Rebate Program
In April 2009, Georgia enacted legislation (HB 473) creating the Georgia Clean Energy Property Rebate Program. This program will use funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to provide rebates for investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA) began accepting applications for the rebate program on October 19, 2009. GEFA quickly received funding requests that exceed the allocated total funding for the program. It is unlikely that any new applications will receive funding (see DSIRE record).

MICHIGAN – Tax Credit Established for PV Manufacturing
Michigan has established a new tax credit for the construction of facilities that manufacture PV systems. Businesses may claim a tax credit for 25% of the capital costs of building a qualifying facility, with a general credit limit of $15 million. To qualify, businesses must enter into an agreement with the Michigan Economic Growth Authority by December 31, 2011, and must meet certain minimum capital investment and job creation requirements. The limit of the total volume of tax credits issued is $75 million (see DSIRE record).

NEVADA – NV Energy Enhances Wind Energy Incentives
NV Energy offers capacity-based rebates for customer-sited wind-energy systems up to one megawatt in capacity. Previously, incentives were disbursed only for the first 30 kW of a system sited at a home, small business and agricultural facility, and for the first 50 kW of a system sited at a school or public building. In December, the program was expanded to provide rebates for the first 60 kW of a residential system, for the first 250 kW of a system used by a small business or school, and for the first 500 kW of an agricultural system or a system sited at a public building (see DSIRE record).

NEW JERSEY – PSE&G Solar Loan II Program Accepting Applications
PSE&G’s Solar Loan program offers loans to customers for the installation of net-metered PV systems up to 500 kW in capacity. The program is intended to cover 40% – 60% of the cost of installing a PV system, and uniquely, may be repaid either with cash or with Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs). If used for loan repayment, SRECs are valued at the higher of the market price or a floor price established at the time of the loan. The initial SREC floor prices are set at $450 for residential systems, $410 for non-residential systems up to 150 kW, and $380 for non-residential systems larger than 150 kW (see DSIRE record).

NEW YORK–Governor Signs State Energy Plan
On December 15th, New York’s Governor David A. Paterson accepted the final 2009 State Energy Plan from the New York State Energy Planning Board. The Energy Plan provides a comprehensive blueprint for New York to continue to transition to a clean energy economy over a 10-year planning horizon, and is the first State energy plan since 2002. The transition to a clean energy economy is a core component of Governor Paterson’s New Economy Jobs Plan, and is expected to create tens of thousands of jobs in New York.

WEST VIRGINIA–Establishes REC Trading Platform
House Bill 408D, signed into law on December 7th, requires the Public Service Commission to establish a system of tradable credits to verify and monitor the generation and sale of electricity generated from alternative and renewable energy resource facilities. The credits may be traded, sold or used to meet the portfolio standards.

WYOMING: State Rebate Program Vastly Expanded with ARRA Funds
Wyoming’s renewable-energy rebate program has provided $2,000 rebates for PV systems, funding a total of around 37 systems per year. On December 1, 2009, Wyoming announced that it would expand this program with $2.5 million in federal stimulus funds. As a result, the state will issue rebates of $2 per watt (up to $10,000) for PV and small wind, and $2,000 per ton for geothermal heat pumps. Applications will be accepted in June 2010 (see DSIRE record).


Dr. Stephanie SmithFeature: Dr. Stephanie Smith, Delaware Technical Community College

Dr. Stephanie Smith, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Delaware Technical Community College (DTCC) has been influential in helping develop green energy educational offerings at the college in an amazingly short time.  When we met at the 3rd New Ideas conference in Albany last month, and though it was the opening plenary, Smith was already loaded down with papers.  It’s no surprise that DTCC has moved up so quickly in the green workforce training community.   MORE


Chris_WarfelInterview:  Chris Warfel: trainer, installer, designer, solar oyster farmer

It was 20 years ago when Christopher Warfel, Principal of ENTECH Engineering, responded to a request from his brother to conduct an energy audit at the school at which he (the brother) taught.  The audit went well—well enough that Warfel ended up writing a grant for new windows, lighting and a new furnace for the school, ultimately launching his energy career.  MORE


Of Note…

Solar ABCs Newsletter
The Solar America Board for Codes and Standard’s December 2009 Newsletter is available through the Solar ABCs.

SRCC Looking for Executive DIrector
The Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC), a nonprofit standards organization that certifies and rates performance of solar (thermal) energy products, is looking for an executive director (ED).  SRCC offices are located in Cocoa, Florida. though location for the ED is flexible. Desired start date is January 1, 2010. The position will remain open until filled.

DOE Webinar December 16:  Introduction to Performance Contracting
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Technical Assistance Project (TAP) for state and local officials is offering a Web seminar on how state and local governments can use funding from the 2009 Recovery Act to establish performance contracts for energy efficiency on Wednesday, December 16, from 3:00 to 4:15 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, and is titled “Introduction to Performance Contracting. Dustin Knutson, performance contracting trainer with the DOE Federal Energy Management Program, and Jim Arwood, director of the Arizona Energy Office will present.  The webinar is free, but you must register to attend.

DOE Launches Open Energy Information Website
DOE’s new open-source web platform will make DOE resources and open energy data widely available to the public.  The Open Energy Information Platform also links to VIBE(TM), virtual information bridge to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

EPA to Host Webinar on Green Power Purchasing Aggregations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Green Power Partnership will host a Webinar on aggregating demand for green power at 1 pm ET on 1/28/10.  There is no fee for this workshop, but you must register to attend.


On our radar

Power Purchase Agreement Checklist for State and Local Governments; Energy Analysis; Fact Sheet (NREL – October 2009)
This fact sheet is one of a series on financing renewable energy projects. It provides information and guidance on the solar PV power purchase agreement, which is a financing mechanism that state and local government entities can use to acquire clean, renewable energy.

Next 10 releases ‘Many Shades of Green,’ a green jobs inventory in CA
Many Shades of Green, a new report from Next 10, outlines the green jobs inventory across the entire State of California, tracking recent data on green companies, job type, location and growth.

6th Annual SANDEE Awards
The San Diego Excellence in Energy (SANDEE) Awards recognize outstanding projects and activities that have achieved significant energy savings and/or contributions toward the goals of the San Diego Regional Energy Strategy 2030 through the implementation of energy efficiency, energy conservation, renewable energy measures and CO2 reduction in San Diego County.  Awards are given in nine categories.  Applications are due 1/18/10.


Upcoming Events

1/15/10   Deadline to submit applications for NABCEP solar PV and solar thermal certifying exams

2/3-2/5  RETECH 2010, Washington, DC, hosted by ACORE

2/17-2/19  CoSEIA Annual Conference & Expo, Lakewood, CO


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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