CALIFORNIA: Energy Commission to Vote on New Rules for Small Wind Turbine Rebates

The California Energy Commission will meet on November 2, 2011 to consider adopting revisions to the requirements for participating in the Emerging Renewables Program (ERP) and receiving incentives to help offset the cost of purchasing and installing eligible small wind generating systems.

Audio from this meeting will be broadcast over the Internet. For details, please go to:

Staff, with input and guidance from lead Commissioner Carla Peterman, is recommending the following revisions:

Changes to the incentive amount

  • The rebate level of $3 per watt for the first 10 kilowatts of a small wind system’s generating capacity will be extended from 30 days to 120 days from the date of adoption of the Guidebook revisions. After 120 days the rebate level will be reduced to $2.50 per watt.
  • Rebates for fuel cell and small wind generating systems shall not exceed 50 percent of the net purchase price of the system (before ERP incentives).

Implementation of funding limits

  • Available program funds will be divided evenly between rebates for systems using small wind turbines and systems using fuel cells.
  • When program funds are exhausted, the Energy Commission will suspend the ERP, but may create a waiting list for unfunded applications.
  • No single manufacturer or retailer may claim more than 25 percent of the annual funding allocation for the Emerging Renewable Resources Account.

Changes to the criteria for listing equipment as eligible for the ERP

  • Turbines shall no longer receive listing on the list of eligible small wind turbines for the ERP by providing 12 consecutive months of performance data.
  • Turbines must be certified to either the International Electrotechnical Commission 61400-2 (IEC 61400-2) standard or the American Wind Energy Association 9.1-2009 (AWEA 9.1-2009) standard to be listed as eligible equipment.
  • Turbines currently listed on the Energy Commission’s list of eligible equipment for the ERP shall provide a certified power curve prepared in accordance with the standards of IEC 61400-12-1 or Section 2 of the AWEA 9.1-2009 standard in order to remain on the list of eligible equipment.
  • The rating of small wind turbines shall be standardized at 11 meters per second (24.6 miles per hour) for purposes of determining program incentives.

Additions to the criteria for removing equipment from the list of eligible equipment

Changes to the R-1 form to include installation type and height of installation

A limited exception for use of older utility bill included with R1 applications submitted within 180 days of the adoption of the Eleventh edition of the Guidebook For applications submitted within this 180 day period, the utility bill may be dated as far back as September 4, 2010. After the 180 day period has lapsed, applications must include utility bills that are no older than six months from the date of application

Clarification of other existing program requirements.

This list of proposed revisions includes additional changes recommended by staff as result of written public comments received by the Energy Commission as of October 14, 2011. These public comments were submitted in response to the Energy Commission’s earlier notice of proposed Guidebook revisions, which was issued on October 4, 2011. The additional proposed changes provide a limited exception for the use of older utility bills, as described above.

A revised draft of the proposed Guidebook revisions that includes staff’s additional proposed changes is available online and for public review (Publication No.CEC-300-2011-004-D).

In addition to the proposed revisions to the Guidebook, the Energy Commission will consider lifting the suspension of the ERP and restarting the program. Staff, with input and guidance from Commissioner Peterman, is recommending that the suspension be lifted and the program restarted on November 9, 2011, and that rebate applications received on or after this date be accepted pursuant to the requirements of the ERP Guidebook, Eleventh Edition.

Source:  California Energy Commission


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