CALIFORNIA – Biomethane Bounced from RPS
The California Energy Commission passed a resolution in late March which makes biomethane ineligible for the state’s renewables portfolio standard. The resolution cites numerous reasons for the decision, including a lack of evidence that biomethane helps achieve the environmental goals of the RPS, and an inherent risk of double-counting for RPS compliance purposes. The suspension took effect immediately, but certain facilities meeting specific conditions may be exempt. 

CALIFORNIA – Incentives for Low-Income Solar-Thermal Unveiled
The latest incentive under the California Solar Initiative banner was launched in late March. In addition to receiving generous rebates for PV under the popular SASH and MASH programs, low-income single-family and multi-family homeowners may now receive juicy rebates for solar water heaters. The $25 million program provides rebates up to $3,750 for solar water heaters installed on low-income single-family homes, and up to $500,000 for systems installed on low-income multi-family homes. 

FLORIDA – Tampa Electric PV Rebates Resurrected
A new round of funding for Tampa Electric’s PV rebate will reopen April 17. 

FLORIDA – Gulf Power PV Rebates Fully Subscribed
Funding for the 2012 Gulf Power PV rebate program has been fully reserved. The application period for 2013 funding will begin October 1. 

MAINE – Renewables Rebate Program Renovated
Maine’s renewable energy rebate program has been revised. Capacity-based rebates for PV and wind have been converted to an incentive of $0.50/kWh for estimated annual production. Rebates for solar-thermal systems, previously calculated at % of project costs, are now calculated based on estimated performance. The cap for residential installations for all technologies is $2,000, and the cap for non-residential installations for all technologies is $4,000. All installers must register with Efficiency Maine. Rebates still require a reservation. According to Efficiency Maine’s 2011 annual report, more than $1 million is budgeted for the program for FY2012.

MICHIGAN – Consumers Energy Performance Incentives Re-Opens
Consumers Energy is now accepting applications from residential customers for Phase 6 of the utility’s Experimental Advanced Renewable Program. Contracts of up to 15 years are available for PV systems, with a performance-based incentive of $0.259/kWh. The application deadline is May 3.

NEW YORK – Regional Renewables Incentives Return
NYSERDA has issued a new solicitation for downstate PV and biogas projects larger than 50 kW under the Customer-Sited Tier Regional Program. The program is based on a competitive bidding process and awards the bulk of the incentive (70%) based on project performance over the first three years of operation. It has an annual budget of $30 million. The deadline for the current solicitation is May 24.

NEW HAMPSHIRE – Residential Renewables Rebates Fully Committed
Funding for New Hampshire’s residential renewables rebate program has been fully committed. Rebates for projects approved as of March 26 will be awarded upon review and approval. New applications are still being accepted and will be placed on a waiting list. If new program funding becomes available on or after July 1, rebates will be awarded for qualifying applicants on a first-come, first-served basis.

RHODE ISLAND – FIT Emerges from Hibernation
Rhode Island’s feed-in tariff re-opened on April 9 and will close at 5 p.m. EDT on April 20. The current round of funding supports PV, wind and certain other renewables. Incentive rates vary by technology and system capacity; the maximum rate is 33.35 cents/kWh. Under the law authorizing this program, electric distribution companies must enter into standard contracts for an aggregate capacity of at least 40 MW by the end of 2014. Standard contracts include a fixed payment rate and a 15-year term.