News from DSIRE: 7/9/12
ALASKA – New Loan Program to Support Renewables
Alaska enacted legislation in June (S.B. 25) creating a loan fund for energy projects. The new law takes effect September 10, and AIDEA is currently working to develop rules for the program. Both conventional and renewable energy projects are eligible, but renewable energy projects will get special provisions.
ARIZONA – MSW Plant Allowed to Meet RPS
In a June Ruling, the Arizona Corporation Commission gave final approval to a request by the Mojave Electric Cooperative to have a single municipal solid waste facility designated as a “pilot program” to be considered an eligible renewable energy resource under the state’s renewables portfolio standard.
COLORADO – Xcel Commercial PV Incentives Going, Going …
Xcel Energy redesigned and re-funded its popular Solar*Rewards program in June. The new program has a budget to support 16.4 MW of commercial PV in 2012, divided equally into two steps. The first step (8.2 MW) has already been fully allocated, and the second step (8.2 MW) is going fast. Once these allocations are reserved, Xcel will not award additional incentives until 2013.
MARYLAND – Clean Energy Incentives Overhauled
The Maryland Energy Administration has revised its incentive levels for non-residential PV, residential and non-residential solar water heating, and residential and non-residential geothermal heat pumps. Beginning July 1, the MEA’s residential clean energy programs will offer a flat incentive for residential systems (e.g., $500 for eligible solar water heaters), and non-residential incentives will be based on a tiered-capacity calculation (e.g., $60/kW for the first 100 kW and $30/kW for the next 100 kW of installed capacity for PV). It appears that the MEA’s residential wind program has been revised as well, but we are seeking clarification on the changes.
MASSACHUSETTS – Commonwealth Solar II Round 11 Nears
Massachusetts closed the 10th block of funding under the Commonwealth Solar II program at the end of June. Block 11 is scheduled to open July. No major changes to the rebate program have been announced. According to the latest report from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Commonwealth Solar II has supported the installation of more than 1,700 PV systems totaling more than 9.6 MW in capacity thus far.
NEW HAMPSHIRE – Revised RPS Embraces Thermal Energy; Solar-Electric Gets Cold Shoulder
A new New Hampshire law (S.B. 218) lengthens the list of resources eligible for the state’s RPS and requires a new minimum standard for “useful thermal energy” generated by renewables. Thermal resources must account for 0.2% of RECs in 2013 and 0.4% in 2014; the share increases annually by 0.2% from 2015 through 2025. The new law also changed the alternative compliance payment rates for three of the four classes of renewables included in the standard. The ACP rate for new solar-electric resources was drastically reduced, from $168.13/MWh to $55/MWh.
NEW HAMPSHIRE – Rebate Levels for Small PV, Wind Fall
New Hampshire has reduced incentive levels for the state’s rebate program for residential renewables up to 5 kW, although the program is still on hold. The level for PV and wind turbines was $1.25/W, with a maximum incentive of $4,500 or 50% of the total system cost, whichever is less. The new level is $0.75/W, with a maximum incentive of $3,750 or 50% of the total system cost, whichever is less.
OKLAHOMA – State Moratorium on Tax Credits Expires
The two-year moratorium on all Oklahoma state tax credits ended June 30, and the state’s zero-emission production tax credit may now be claimed for tax year 2012 and subsequent tax years.
OREGON – Energy Trust Solar Incentive Level Drops
Energy Trust of Oregon has lowered the buy-down level for PGE customers slightly. The incentive for residential PV systems owned by homeowners or a third party was lowered from $1/W with a $6,000 cap to $0.75/W with a $5,000 cap.
PUERTO RICO – Green Energy Fund Incentives Kick off Year 2
Puerto Rico’s Green Energy Fund officially began its second year on July 1.The Tier II Incentive Program, which offers grants targeting PV and wind projects between 100 kW and 1 MW, accepts applications for the first five days of each quarter. The deadline for this quarter’s submission was July 5. The Tier I Incentive Program, a rebate program targeting small PV and wind projects up to 100 kW, will start accepting applications August 1. There is an application fee for both programs.
WISCONSIN – Focus on Energy Renewables Incentives Back in Action
After an extended hiatus, Focus on Energy has re-opened its renewables grant and rebate programs. Rebates are available for residential PV, solar water heating, and geothermal systems, and grants are available for non-residential PV, solar-thermal, wind, biomass and bio-gas projects.
WISCONSIN – Final Rules Set for Renewables Sales Tax Exemption
Final rules for the Wisconsin State Sales Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy have been developed to replace the initial emergency rule adopted in 2011. The final rule will appear in section Tax 11.10 of the state’s administrative code; only minor changes were made to the emergency rule.
WYOMING – Renewables Sales Tax Exemption Rides off into Sunset
Wyoming’s sales tax exemption for renewables expired on June 30 and is no longer available.