News from DSIRE: week of 1/11/11

MASSACHUSETTS – Solar Carve Out Regulations Finalized
Massachusetts’s final regulations for the state’s solar carve-out took effect January 7, 2011. In addition to increasing the maximum eligible system size from 2 MW to 6 MW, the final regulations adjusted the way the total compliance obligation is calculated on a yearly basis (an important component that determines the solar minimum standard) to better balance supply and demand. The ultimate solar carve-out cap remains 400 MW, but the final regulations have provided additional market certainty surrounding that cap.

MASSACHUSETTS – New Commonwealth Solar II Rebates at Starting Gate
Round 5 of the Commonwealth Solar II rebate program will begin January 14, 2011, as scheduled. Tweaks have been made to the program, and the new base rebate levels have been reduced from $1.00/W to $0.75/W. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center anticipates offering incentives at this rate throughout 2011. (The program previously was scheduled to sunset at the end of May 2011). In a recent press release, the MassCEC announced that 167 PV systems totaling 2.7 MW were installed under the program in 2010.

NEVADA – Nevada Energy Solar Rebates Delayed
NV Energy began offering solar water-heating incentives of up to $1,500 in December 2010 for customers in southern Nevada. At that time, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada was still reviewing NV Energy’s proposed rebate program for customers in northern Nevada, and NV Energy floated an expected launch date of January 2011 for these incentives. NV Energy has since pushed backed the anticipated start date for customers in northern Nevada to February 2011.

NEW YORK – New Year, New Rebates for LIPA Solar Entrepreneurs
The Long Island Power Authority has re-opened the Solar Entrepreneur rebate program for 2011. This program, which was closed to new applications at the beginning of December 2010, offers non-residential LIPA customers an incentive of $1.75/W (or $2.75/W for non-profits, schools, and governments) for the first 50 kW of installed capacity. Rebate applications for residential installations through the Solar Pioneer program will continue to be accepted in 2011.

NORTH CAROLINA – Progress Energy Commercial PV Incentives on Hold
The Carolinas SunSense Commercial PV Program was suspended as of December 22, 2010, while Progress Energy implements program changes. Applications were not being accepted during the time of this writing. The program likely will re-open in January.

NORTH CAROLINA – Progress Energy Dangles Residential PV Rebates
Progress Energy began accepting applications for the residential portion of its SunSense program on January 1, 2011. The incentive is two-fold. Participants receive an upfront payment of $1,000/kW, up to $10,000, and monthly bill credits of $4.50/kW for the first five years. The monthly payments are for the RECs generated by the system for those five years. At the end of five years, it may be possible for system owners to enter into a new contract with Progress Energy to continue selling their RECs.

OREGON – Residential Energy Tax Credit Rules Finalized
On January 1, 2011, new final rules for Oregon’s Residential Energy Tax Credit took effect. These rules replace the temporary rules that took effect in July 2010. The new rules change the rating basis for PV systems that the tax credit is based on from DC watts DC to AC watts. The new rules also address third-party-owned systems and allow residents to take the tax credit for leased PV systems.

SOUTH CAROLINA – Progress Energy Commercial PV Incentives on Hold
The Carolinas SunSense Commercial PV Program was suspended as of December 22, 2010, while Progress Energy implements program changes. Applications were not being accepted during the time of this writing. The program likely will re-open in January.

WASHINGTON – Utility Solar Rebate Level Declines
Clark Public Utilities has decreased the rebate for solar water heating systems from $1,000 to $500 for 2011. Systems must comply with the Bonneville Power Administration’s “Bright Way to Heat Water” standards to qualify for the rebate.

 

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