CALIFORNIA – LADWP Non-Residential PV Incentives on Sabbatical
LADWP is no longer accepting non-residential PV rebate applications for the remainder of the fiscal year. The municipal utility, which budgets $20 million per year for non-residential PV incentives, has received over $33 million in applications this fiscal year. Applications that did not receive a reservation have been canceled and applicants must reapply when the new fiscal year starts, on July 1. The budget for non-residential incentives for the next fiscal year is the same, so incentive funds might not last for 12 months. 

CALIFORNIA – PV Muscles up, Gets FIT in Palo Alto
City of Palo Alto Utilities will begin accepting applications for its new feed-in tariff program on April 2. The incentive rate depends on the length of the contract, with the highest rate ($0.14003/kWh) being paid for 20-year contracts. The municipal utility will award contracts on a monthly basis for an aggregate total of 4 MW of projects in 2012. Under some circumstances, the utility may ask applicants to provide competitive bid prices. The utility will then award contracts to the lowest bidders until the program’s 2012 cap has been reached. Ready, set, go!

CALIFORNIA – Fuel Cell Rebates Retired
California’s Emerging Renewables Program provides rebates for small wind systems and fuel cells using renewable fuels. The California Energy Commission announced on March 2 that the budget reserve for fuel cells was exhausted, and no new applications are being accepted. Incentives are still available for small wind. 

CONNECTICUT – 30-MW Residential PV Incentive Program Launched
Connecticut recently overhauled its solar rebate program and just launched a new PV incentive program. Systems owned outright by a homeowner receive an upfront rebate, whereas systems owned by a third party receive a performance-based incentive. The overall goal of the program is 30 MW of residential PV by 2022, and the incentive amounts are scheduled to step down over time. Systems up to 10 kW are eligible for incentives. The first two steps have already been published; the program is currently in “step one.” Only customers of Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating are eligible for this program.

DELAWARE – SREC Pilot Procurement Program Looms
The Delaware Solar Renewable Energy Certificate Pilot Procurement Program will open with a public solicitation period for SRECs on April 2. The program will utilize a public solicitation for SRECs for different tiers of solar generators based on their capacity. The Sustainable Energy Utility will administer all aspects of the bid process for each utility that participates. Delmarva Power is the only participating utility at this time; therefore, the estimates for procurement are based Delmarva Power’s projected need for SRECs in compliance year 2011.

FLORIDA – Progress Energy PV Rebates Dormant Through October
Progress Energy has announced that the next round of funding under the SunSense Solar PV Rebate program will open on October 1.This program has an annual budget of $1 million through 2014.

INDIANA – IURC Approves Changes to IPL Feed-In Tariff
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has approved changes to Indianapolis Power & Light’s “Rate EP” for Renewable Energy Production, including an increase of the maximum contract length to 15 years. This tariff, a pilot program offered through March 2013, provides incentive payments to customers for electricity generated by wind, solar and biomass projects.

MARYLAND – Net Metering Saga Finally Ends
The final step in Maryland’s most recent net metering rulemaking, which began in May 2010, has been completed. At a rulemaking session in January 2012 the Maryland Public Service Commission adopted the last remaining sections of the new rules, which took effect February 20. The rulemaking stemmed from legislation enacted in 2010 that likely would have damaged net metering. Subsequent legislation enacted in 2011 fixed the deficiencies in the 2010 law, ultimately fulfilling the original intent of granting customers monetary compensation for net excess generation once annually.

MICHIGAN – RPS Annual Report Published
In February 2012, the Michigan Public Service Commission issued a report to the state legislature on the implementation and cost-effectiveness of the state’s RPS. The report is required under the law that created the RPS (P.A. 295 of 2008); the PSC is required to issue annul RPS reports by February 15. The report found that all but three utilities appear to be well-positioned to meet the overall standard of 10% renewables by 2015.

NEW YORK – NYSERDA Small Wind Incentives Reactivated
In March 2012, NYSERDA released Program Opportunity Notice 2439, which provides incentives for customer-sited wind facilities of up to 2 MW per site. Incentive levels remain the same as the levels under the prior program, which expired December 31, 2011. The new PON includes a budget of $13.8 million through 2015, with a total of $5.8 million set aside for turbines with a rotor swept area of up to 200 square meters.

NORTH CAROLINA – Duke Energy Lowers Standard Offer Rates for RECs, SRECs
Duke Energy provides a standard offer for both RECs and SRECs. Previously set at $6/MWh and $30/MWh, respectively, the prices for 2012 have dropped to $5/MWh and $20/MWh. The rates were originally scheduled to increase over time, but Duke Energy has announced that they will remain flat through 2027.

SOUTH CAROLINA – Duke Energy Lowers Standard Offer Rates for RECs, SRECs
Duke Energy provides a standard offer for both RECs and SRECs. Previously set at $6/MWh and $30/MWh, respectively, the prices for 2012 have dropped to $5/MWh and $20/MWh. The rates were originally scheduled to increase over time, but Duke Energy has announced that they will remain flat through 2027.

TEXAS – Oncor Extends Efficiency Incentives to Renewables
Oncor Electric Delivery’s Government and Educational Facilities Programs have traditionally provided energy efficiency advice and incentives for city and county government buildings. The programs were recently expanded to included financial incentives for PV, solar water heaters, wind energy, and CHP systems. Incentive levels vary by technology and the location of a facility.

TVA – Mid-Sized Renewables Production Incentives Revised
TVA provides incentives for mid-sized renewable-energy generators from 50 kW – 20 MW to enter into long-term price contracts. The goal for total production from all participants is 100 MW, with no more than 50 MW from any one renewable technology. The pricing range in 2012 for eligible generators has changed from $0.035/kWh – $0.16/kWh, with an average of $0.055/kWh. Note the size of eligible generators under this program was also revised.

TVA – Changes Brewing for Generation Partners Pilot Program
TVA is in the process of revising its Generation Partners Pilot Program, which will bear a new name. Programmatic changes are expected to be finalized in early April 2012. Current Partners and TVA customers may continue to apply for the existing Generation Partners program until the changes are finalized. 

VERMONT – Small Renewables Rebates Come out Swinging in Round 7
Vermont’s small-scale renewable energy rebate program, which began in June 2003, is currently in its seventh round of funding. Approximately $2.5 million is available for PV, solar thermal and wind projects. A small energy-efficiency adder has been incorporated to encourage energy audits and energy efficiency upgrades as part of the process. The residential PV rebate level is now $0.65/W, down from $0.75/W during the last round. Wind rebates have reverted back to the hybrid incentive structure tested around two years ago, in an effort to emphasize well-sited wind projects. For wind projects, there is an up-front rebate based on estimated production, and after one year of actual production, the remaining incentive is paid and is re-calculated based on actual production.

WASHINGTON – New Law Opens RPS to Existing Biomass Projects
Washington has enacted legislation (SB 5575) allowing certain existing biomass facilities to qualify for the state’s RPS. These changes allow three existing facilities that began operation prior to March 31, 1999, to count for compliance with the RPS. The new law also allows biomass from organic byproducts of pulp and wood manufacturing facilities to qualify as renewable resources. Previously, these byproducts were ineligible for the RPS.

WYOMING – Utility Solar Rebate Program Rides off into Sunset
The Lower Valley Energy Solar Rebate for commercial and residential customers has closed. LVE had offered customers a rebate of $400/kW for PV systems from 1 kW – 10 kW. This program also offered a flat rebate of $400 for solar water heaters.