News from DSIRE: week of 11/14/11

CALIFORNIA – Emerging Renewables Program Re-Emerges
California’s Emerging Renewables Program provides rebates for small wind turbines and fuel cells. The California Energy Commission shut down the program earlier this year amid allegations of program abuse. The CEC overhauled the program guidelines over the summer and began accepting applications again on November 9.

ILLINOIS – RPS Injected with DG Requirement
Overturning a gubernatorial veto, Illinois’s legislature enacted a bill that adds a distributed generation requirement to the state’s RPS. SB 1652 requires 1% of the state’s RPS to be met with DG by June 1, 2015. Systems must be less than 2 MW in capacity to qualify. This bill also revised the state’s net metering policy.

ILLINOIS – Net Metering Takes It on the Chin
Illinois’s smart grid legislation (S.B. 1652), enacted when the state legislature overrode a gubernatorial veto, includes significant changes to the state’s net metering policy. Although the bill raised the aggregate capacity limit to 5% and the individual system capacity limit to 2 MW, other provisions related to customer applicability, charges, net excess generation and meter requirements will dilute or effectively expunge the benefits and/or availability of net metering.

MASSACHUSETTS – Organics-to-Energy Grants Unveiled
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s Commonwealth Organics-to-Energy grant program supports anaerobic digestion and other technologies that convert source-separated organic wastes into electricity and thermal energy. The program supports grants up to $60,000, with a required cost share of 5%.

MARYLAND – Residential PV, Geothermal Heat Pump Incentives Revised
Incentives available for PV and geothermal heat pumps under Maryland’s Residential Clean Energy Grant Program have been reduced, effective November 1. For PV, a flat incentive of $1,000 per system replaced the previous incentive of $0.50/W, up to $10,000. For geothermal heat pumps, the maximum incentive was reduced from $2,000 to $1,000, although the incentive amount for the grant calculation remains at $500 per ton. Grants for non-residential systems were not affected by these changes.  Incentives for residential PV
Incentives for geothermal heat pumps

NEW HAMPSHIRE – Net Metering Rules Modernized
The New Hampshire PUC recently finalized the state’s new net metering rules, pursuant to revisions made by legislation enacted in 2010. The new rules increase the system capacity limit to 1 MW and increase the aggregate capacity limit to 50 MW. All customers now maintain ownership of RECs, and default service customers may now receive payments for net excess generation.

NEW YORK – Larger Small Wind Turbines Eligible for Incentives
NYSERDA’s small wind incentive program offers rebates of up to $400,000 for the installation of systems designed to serve on-site electricity needs. The program was recently revised to increase the maximum per site/customer system size from 600 kW to 2 MW. Systems are also limited to the size needed to meet 110% of historic on-site electricity demand. Applicants eligible for remote net metering may now submit information on “satellite” electricity accounts for the purpose of increasing the system size eligible to be supported through the host electricity account.

SOUTH CAROLINA –Progress SunSense Commercial PV Program Closes
Progress Energy Carolinas offers incentives to non-residential customers in North Carolina and South Carolina for installing PV systems. PEC pays $0.18/kWh for the electricity and RECs generated by PV systems, for a period of at least 20 years. Progress Energy closed this program, which was fully subscribed, on October 28. However, the program will re-open again in 2012, and applications will be accepted on January 3. Progress Energy will announce on December 15 details regarding any program changes.

TEXAS – El Paso Electric 2012 PV Program Begins
El Paso Electric is continuing its Solar PV Pilot Program, originally launched in March 2010. The incentive amounts remain $2/W for residential customers and $1.75/W for non-residential customers, although the maximum incentive for non-residential has doubled to $87,500. A total of $1.15 million is budgeted for the 2012 program.

UTAH – Renewables Rebate Program Retired
The Utah Office of Energy Development began accepting applications for PV, solar water heating and wind incentives in April 2010. The SEP resurrected the program twice in 2011 with fresh injections of cash. The most recent funding addition of $200,000, in late October, has been gobbled up and the program is now permanently closed.




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