Latest news from DSIRE

Here’s the latest news from the DSIRE team for the week of 2/10/10:

CALIFORNIA – Palm Desert Picks up the PACE
Palm Desert announced in early February that it will add $6 million in new funds to the city’s popular property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing program. The city began accepting applications for the new pool of money on February 8, 2010. Half of the $6 million in new funds will be reserved for energy efficiency projects; the other half will fund to fund PV systems.

GEORGIA – Stimulus-Funded Appliance Rebates on Horizon
Under the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is providing a total of $300 million to U.S. states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia to establish rebate programs for new energy-efficient appliances that replace existing appliances in homes.  Georgia’s program has a budget of $9.3 million, with $8.6 million available in rebates. Georgia’s program opens February 12, 2010, and will include a rebate of $199 for solar water heating systems, in addition to rebates for energy efficiency appliances.

MASSACHUSETTS – Commonwealth Solar II Rebates Available
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, now responsible for administering the state’s Renewable Energy Trust, is accepting applications for Commonwealth Solar II. The new rebate program is for residential installations of any size and commercial installations up to 5 kilowatt (kW). The maximum residential incentive is $10,500 and the maximum commercial incentive is $5,500. Quarterly funding for the program is $1 million.

MASSACHUSETTS – Solar Stimulus Rebate Program Comes, Goes in a Flash
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center established the Solar Stimulus rebate program, using $4 million from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Within hours of putting out an “open for business” sign, the program was fully subscribed. It is possible that a future funding block will be announced.

NEW JERSEY – Solar Carve-Out Substantially Revised
Rules adopted by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) require New Jersey electric suppliers to procure at least 2.12% of their electricity sales from solar energy by 2021 as part of the state’s overall renewable portfolio standard (RPS).  Legislation (A.B. 3520) enacted in January 2010 replaced this percentage requirement with a standard based on solar energy production in gigawatt-hours (GWh). The revised standard is scheduled to take effect for the June 2010 – May 2011 (Energy Year 2011) compliance period, beginning at 306 GWh in EY 2011 and gradually increasing to 5,316 GWh in EY 2026.

NEW JERSEY – New Law Removes Net-Metering Limit
Rules adopted by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) currently limit net metering to Class I renewable energy systems of 2 MW or less. However, recently enacted legislation (A.B. 3520) removed all limitations on individual system capacity in determining net metering eligibility. The law is scheduled to take effect in six months, but the BPU has already begun a stakeholder process to address this issue.

NEW JERSEY – Standards Set for Local Small Wind Regulations
In January 2010, New Jersey enacted legislation (A.B. 3740) that prohibits the adoption of local small wind regulations that unreasonably restrict small wind-energy systems.  The law defines a series of possible restrictions that would be considered unreasonable; these include specific criteria for property setbacks, noise, height limits and design restrictions. The New Jersey Division of Codes and Standards is tasked with developing a technical bulletin within 10 months that includes a model small wind ordinance.

VERMONT – Clean Energy Grant Proposals Invited
Vermont’s Clean Energy Development Fund grant program, established in 2005, has issued a new request for proposals. Up to $2.5 million is available for a variety of clean-energy projects. Applications are due March 12, 2010. Projects participating in Vermont’s feed-in tariff (FIT) are not eligible for these funds.

WISCONSIN – Renewables Rebates Revised
The Focus On Energy (FOE) Renewable Energy Cash-Back Rewards program provides rebates for residential and non-residential PV, solar hot water, wind, and biomass combustion systems. Effective February 1, 2010, the incentive amounts and limitations for most systems have been substantially revised. Among the major changes are the addition of enhanced incentive rewards for customers that also participate in FOE energy efficiency programs and the inclusion of medium sized (20 kW – 100 kW) wind-energy systems in the program. (Such systems were formerly offered incentives under a separate grant program.)


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