News from DSIRE: week of 12/13/10

ALABAMA – New State Loan Will Fund Renewable Energy Investments
A new state loan program – AlabamaSAVES – will provide funding for renewable energy upgrades as well as energy efficiency improvements.  This revolving loan program is being offered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs for businesses and industries operating within the state. Loans are limited to $4 million and carry an interest rate of 2%.

CALIFORNIA – CSI Rebates Tapped out for Non-Residential PV Systems in San Diego
The California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE), the program administrator for PV rebates on behalf of San Diego Gas and Electric, announced that all funding for non-residential systems has been exhausted.  CCSE is still receiving reservation request applications and will place these applicants on a waitlist in the event a reserved project fails to be completed.

CALIFORNIA – LADWP Solar Program Sputters
The PV rebate program administered by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has become a victim of its own success. Following two very successful years, they have exhausted the allocated budget for residential systems through the end of this fiscal year and the end of next fiscal year for non-residential systems.  The LADWP Board and LA City Council are currently debating next steps, but the program remains closed at this time.

COLORAO – New Financing Program Unveiled for Colorado Businesses
The Governor of Colorado announced two new loan programs for Colorado businesses in late November.  One program is still in development, but the other program has started accepting applications.  This program – the Direct Lending Revolving Loan Program provides a minimum of $100,000 to businesses for “eligible and extraordinary projects that promote energy efficiency or renewable energy.”

ILLINOIS – Lights Out for Small Solar and Wind Rebates
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is no longer taking applications for its Solar and Wind Energy Rebate Program.  The rebate program is fully subscribed and will be re-opened when additional program funds become available.

NEVADA – New Utility Rebate Program for Solar Water Heating
NV Energy started offering rebates to residential customers in southern Nevada on December 1, 2010.  The rebate covers 50% of the cost of the system, up to $1,500.  NV Energy has submitted a similar plan to the Nevada Public Utilities Commission to offer this incentive to customers in northern Nevada and is currently awaiting approval.  NV Energy aims to launch the program in northern Nevada in January 2011.

NEW YORK – LIPA Introduces Rebates for Residential Solar Water Heating
The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), which has long offered rebates for residential photovoltaic (PV) systems, is now also offering rebates for residential solar water heating.  The program offers an incentive of $20/kBTU (based on the SRCC rating) up to a maximum of $1,500 or 50% of the installed cost of the system. In order to qualify for a rebate, the system must be oriented in a southerly, southeasterly or southwesterly direction.

NEW YORK – LIPA PV Rebate Programs Flip-Flop: Residential Program Gets Renewed Funding
LIPA’s residential (Solar Pioneer) and non-residential (Solar Entrepreneur) programs have had an eventful year.  After repeated program changes and suspensions, the residential program is once again accepting applications after receiving $8.3 million in ARRA funding. Rebate levels remain unchanged at $1.75 per watt up to $17,500 or 50% of installed costs. The non-residential program has exhausted funding for the most recent 750 kilowatt (kW) block and will remain closed until 2011.

NEW YORK – RPS Revisions Allow Increased Flexibility for Main Tier
The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) has recently issued a series of orders affecting several areas of the Main Tier of the RPS. These orders: (1) allow, with limitations, biomass sourced from mixed demolition debris to be considered a qualified biomass resource; (2) allow NYSERDA to issue solicitations for Main Tier projects at least once a year without an authorizing order from the PSC; and (3) allow in-state, behind-the-meter projects to qualify for Main Tier solicitations, subject to NYSERDA measurement and verification requirements. Overall, the revisions are expected to reduce regulatory risk on the part of developers and allow more projects to participate in the program.

NORTH CAROLINA – Popular Performance-Based Incentive Reduced
NC GreenPower, a non-profit organization created by state-government officials, has been providing attractive REC payments to solar generators in North Carolina for the past 7 years.  Following a Board meeting in early December, NC GreenPower announced that they will be scaling back the program effective January 1, 2011.  The REC price will be reduced from $0.15 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to $0.10/kWh and the maximum system size will also be reduced from 10 kilowatts (kW) to 5 kW.

OREGON – Final BETC Rules Finally Issued
After over a year of legislation and rulemaking related to Oregon’s Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC), the changes to the rules have been finalized.  As of November 23, 2010, final rules for BETC are in place. The final rules did not make any significant changes to the temporary rules put in place in May 2010, but did formalize changes made by the temporary rules.


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