News from DSIRE: week of May 2, 2011


ARKANSAS – Renewables Rebate Funds Exhausted
The Arkansas Renewable Technology Rebate Fund, which supports solar and wind projects, has closed. This program was originally scheduled to close in March 2012, but program funds have been exhausted. The program might re-open later this year

DELAWARE – New Rules Implement 2010 RPS Expansion
The Delaware Public Service Commission has issued final regulations effectuating legislative amendments made to the state’s RPS in July 2010. Among other things, the July 2010 amendments increased the solar PV carve-out of the RPS from 2.005% by 2021 to 3.5% by 2026. In its order adopting new rules, the PSC notably denied requests by competitive electricity suppliers to: (1) amend the rules to create a compliance exemption for pre-existing contracts, and (2) to extend to competitive suppliers a provision that “freezes” the RPS for PSC-regulated entities under certain circumstances. In both cases, the PSC found that the underlying RPS law did not allow such changes.

FLORIDA – Flash Mob Lays Siege to Utility’s PV Rebates
Funding for Tampa Electric’s PV rebate program ran out on April 21, less than 72 hours after it became available. (Rebates for solar water heating are still available.) New funding for PV systems will become available in 2012.

HAWAII – Solar Water Heating Rebates Snapped up; Level Drops
In March 2011, Hawaii Energy briefly doubled the rebate for residential solar water heating systems — from $750 to $1,500 — using funding from ARRA. Rebate funds quickly ran out. As a result, the rebate level has been restored to $750.

INDIANA – New Law Restricts Property Tax Exemption to Net Metering
Indiana has enacted legislation (SB 481) that clarifies a law granting a 100% property tax exemption for certain renewable generation equipment. The law states that public utilities and other electric retailer suppliers may not claim this exemption for wind energy systems. However, customers who participate in a net metering program may still claim the exemption.

MINNESOTA – Energy-Reduction Targets Established
In a suite of executive orders signed April 8, Minnesota’s governor set new energy standards for state-owned facilities. The orders incorporate existing sustainable building standards and set a goal of reducing the state’s energy consumption by 20%. Among other requirements, Executive Order 11-12 requires state agencies to incorporate on-site renewables into building renovations wherever it is cost-effective.

MICHIGAN – State PV Loans on Tap
Michigan Saves, a state loan program, is offering financing for PV systems up to 20 kW. Loans are available for owner-occupied, one- to four-unit homes in Michigan. This program also offers loans for solar thermal systems, solar water heating and energy efficiency improvements.

MICHIGAN – Ann Arbor Sets New Renewables Goal
The Ann Arbor City Council has set a goal of purchasing 30% of the energy the city uses from renewable resources by 2015. In addition, the city set a goal of purchasing 5% of community-wide energy from renewables. These goals were set after the city fell short of its goal to purchase 30% renewables by 2010.

UTAH – Sun Sets on Utility PV Program
Utah’s only investor-owned utility, Rocky Mountain Power, has shut off the valve for its PV rebate program. The utility had enough funding to support a total of 170 kW of installed PV. The utility began accepting applications on March 24; within a month, it had received enough applications to exhaust program funding for 2011.


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