ARIZONA – Production Tax Credit Dangled for New Renewables
Arizona has enacted legislation establishing a production tax credit for wind, biomass and solar-electric systems greater than 5 MW that are installed on or after December 31, 2010. The credit for wind and biomass systems is $0.01 per kWh for the first 10 years of production. The credit for solar begins at $0.04 per kWh but declines to $0.01 per kWh over the 10-year period. Credits are capped at $2 million per year, and the total program budget is capped at $20 million per year. Credits will be awarded annually on a first-come, first-served basis. The Arizona Department of Commerce will develop applications.
GEORGIA – PACE Legislation Enacted
On May 20, 2010, Georgia enacted legislation (HB 1388) authorizing local governments to create property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing programs. Georgia is the 21st state to authorize PACE programs. Georgia has authorized the expansion of “business improvement districts” to allow county, city, or town development authorities to provide financing for the installation of renewable energy systems, energy efficiency or conservation improvements, and water efficiency or conservation improvements to residential, commercial, industrial or other qualifying property.
MARYLAND – New Law Advances Solar RPS Requirements
Maryland’s solar carve-out, one of the largest in the country in terms of expected solar capacity additions, has been accelerated. While the ultimate target of 2% solar by 2022 remains unchanged, S.B. 277 has accelerated the annual benchmarks from 2011 to 2016. Increases over the former schedule range from 0.01% in 2011 to 0.15% in 2014 through 2016. The new law also revised the solar alternative compliance payment (SACP) schedule to increase SACP levels from 2011 through 2016.
MARYLAND – Net Metering Expanded to Fuel Cells
Maryland’s net metering law, which has been amended four times in the last two legislative sessions, has been amended yet again — this time by allowing fuel cells to qualify. The new law, H.B. 821, will take effect October 1, 2010.
MARYLAND – Clean Energy Production Tax Credit Renewed, Revised
Maryland’s clean energy production tax credit, which awards a tax credit of 0.85 cents per kWh for qualifying electricity generation during a five-year period, was scheduled to expire for new projects at the end of 2010. However, freshly enacted legislation (S.B. 287) extends the deadline for tax credit applications through 2015 while also placing a $1,000 minimum on tax credit applications and making the tax credit refundable. The tax credit is available to individuals and businesses.
MINNESOTA – Residential Wind Rebates on Tap
The Minnesota Office of Energy Security is now offering rebates for residential wind energy systems up to 35 kW in capacity. The rebate is calculated as 35% of the installed cost of the system, with a maximum award of $10,000. A total of $500,000 is available for rebates, funded by State Energy Program funds under the federal stimulus bill (ARRA).
NORTH CAROLINA – Second Batch of Rebates for Efficient Appliances Unveiled
Phase Two of North Carolina’s Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program opened June 1, 2010. The total program budget is $8.8 million, but only $1 million remains for Phase Two of the program. Rebates are available for a variety of Energy Star-certified appliances, including $200 for qualifying solar water heating systems. This program is funded by the federal stimulus bill (ARRA).
OREGON – New Business Energy Tax Credit Rules Issued
On May 21, 2010, the Oregon Department of Energy adopted new temporary administrative rules incorporating changes made by previous temporary administrative rules issued in November 2009 and changes made to the tax credit by HB 3680 in March 2010. These new 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. Finally, the new rules revised the amount of tax credits available, set a sunset date for the tax credit, and reduced the maximum credit available to wind projects over 10 MW.
WASHINGTON – Franklin County PUD Discontinues Loan Programs
Franklin County PUD previously offered residential customers the option of taking either a loan or a rebate for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. The PUD recently discontinued its loan programs for energy efficiency and solar energy systems. The solar rebate program is still available.
WISCONSIN – PACE Financing Law Enhanced
Wisconsin was one of the armada of states to authorize local property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing programs in 2009. Under the original law, such programs were limited to residential properties, but recently enacted legislation (S.B. 624) expands eligibility to commercial and industrial property owners. The new law also adds water-efficiency improvements to the list of eligible measures. It also creates a hybrid option that allows property owners to seek private financing arrangements, whereby the local government acts as a payment collector through the special charge characteristic of PACE programs.
WISCONSIN – RPS Resource Eligibility Broadened
As is the case in many states, the resource definitions for Wisconsin’s RPS have traditionally limited eligibility to technologies that actually generate renewable electricity. However, as a result of S.B. 273, solar thermal, solar lighting, geothermal, biomass and biogas resources that displace electricity generated from conventional fuels are now considered eligible resources for the issuance of renewable resource credits (Wisconsin’s equivalent of a renewable energy credit, or REC). The new law also allows plasma arc gasification of waste, densified fuel pellets composed of certain organic materials, and pyrolysis of organic or waste resources to qualify for credits.