News from DSIRE: week of 2/7/11

ALASKA – Utility Performance Incentive Expanded to Net-Metered Systems
Golden Valley Electric Association’s performance-based incentive, the Sustainable Natural Alternative Program (SNAP), has a new option — the SNAP Plus Program. This option allows net-metered systems to take advantage of the performance-based incentive. SNAP Plus participants receive an annual payment and a monthly credit for net excess generation.

LOUISIANA – New Renewables Pilot Program Targets Utilities
The Louisiana Public Service Commission has established the Renewable Energy Pilot Program to help the commission determine if a renewable portfolio standard is suitable for the state. The implementation plan requires investor-owned utilities to offer a feed-in tariff for renewable energy facilities and/or build their own facilities. In addition, both investor-owned utilities and cooperatives must participate in an RFP process for long-term renewable-energy generation projects.

MASSACHUSETTS – Solar Hot Water Pilot Program Launched
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center is now offering incentives for solar water heaters at residential buildings. The incentive is calculated based on the number of collectors and the SRCC rating of the system. Residents may earn a $200 bonus for systems with components manufactured in Massachusetts.

MASSACHUSETTS – Solar Alternative Compliance Payment Lowered
Massachusetts’s solar carve-out and the corresponding SREC market are entering their second year. For the first year (2010), the solar alternative compliance payment (SACP) was set at $600/MWh. The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources has reduced the SACP to $550 for 2011, largely due to falling prices of PV modules. The SACP, effectively a ceiling on the value of SRECs, is the per-MWh payment that electricity suppliers must remit if they fail to obtain enough SRECs to cover their solar-procurement obligations.

NEVADA – Solar Water Heating Incentives Head North
NV Energy launched a rebate program for solar water heating in southern Nevada in December 2010.  The program is available to the utility’s customers in the former territory of Nevada Power. Customers in the former Sierra Pacific Power territory to the north had to wait until the program was approved separately by the state Public Utilities Commission. Approval has been granted, and NV Energy began accepting applications from gas and electric customers on February 1, 2011. Unlike the program in southern Nevada, which targets residential customers, the program in northern Nevada provides incentives to businesses, nonprofits, schools, government entities and residential customers.

NEW MEXICO – Performance-Based Incentives Slim Down
The new year brings new changes to Excel’s Solar*Rewards Program in New Mexico. This program pays an incentive based on the amount of electricity produced by net-metered PV systems. In 2010, Solar*Rewards provided $0.20/kWh for systems up to 100 kW. Systems up to 10 kW received this payment for 14 years, and larger systems were eligible for a 10-year contract. As of February 3, 2011, systems up to 10 kW will receive $0.13/kWh for 12 years, and systems larger than 10 kW and up to100 kW will receive $0.08/ kWh for 10 years. These rates will step down over time as kW targets are met.

TEXAS – Utilities Gone Wild! 8 PV Rebate Programs Revised
Five Texas utilities — Texas New Mexico Power, Texas AEP TNC, Texas AEP TCC, Texas SWEPCO and Entergy — have lowered incentive levels for PV systems for 2011, while Guadalupe Electric Cooperative has raised its rebate amount. Oncor, on the other hand, has not re-funded its PV program for 2011. In addition, effective February 15, CPS Energy in San Antonio will offer a higher maximum rebate amount based on a new tiered rebate structure that provides higher rebates for projects installed by locals

TEXAS – CPS Energy Seeks 50 MW of Solar
CPS Energy, San Antonio’s municipal utility, has issued an RFP for 50 MW of solar and a commitment to support local manufacturing. The deadline for responses is May 31, 2011.

WISCONSIN – Focus on Energy Revamps Renewable Energy Cash-Back Rewards
Focus on Energy has set new incentive amounts and new system size limits for its Renewable Energy Cash-Back Rewards program. PV system capacity is limited to 6 kW for prescriptive incentives and 20 kW for custom incentives. Prescriptive incentives for wind are available to systems up to 20 kW.


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