News from DSIRE: 8/31/12
COLORADO – Utility PV Rebates Dwindling
Black Hills Energy has reached its budget cap on incentives for third-party-owned systems between 3 kW and 10 kW and for all systems between 60 kW and 100 kW.
INDIANA – Utility FIT No Longer Available to Larger Renewables
IPL’s Rate Renewable Energy Production program, a feed-in tariff for electricity generated by solar, wind and biomass, is no longer accepting applications for Level 3 projects (projects larger than 750 kVA). The application deadline for these systems was August 24. Applications for smaller systems will be accepted until October 1. There are currently no plans to extend this program.
MASSACHUSETTS – RPS Biomass, Solar Provisions Evolve
Massachusetts issued final rules last week clarifying the eligibility of woody biomass as a Class I renewable energy resource under the state’s RPS. These rules were in the works for over two years. In light of those rules, the Department of Energy Resources has announced it will begin a rulemaking to incorporate applicable provisions from the Class I biomass regulations into the Class II biomass regulations, to ensure that forests are protected and greenhouse-gas emissions are minimized. In addition, DOER announced the 2013 Solar Compliance Obligation, but it simultaneously notified stakeholders that it seeks to change this rate. A formal rulemaking will commence soon.
MICHIGAN – Utility Re-Opens PV FIT to All Customers
The eighth and ninth phases of Consumers Energy’s Experimental Advanced Renewable Energy Program are now open. Phase 8 offers a performance-based incentive of $0.219/kWh for electricity generated by non-residential PV, and Phase 9 offers $0.249/kWh for residential PV. The application deadline is October 10.
NEW HAMPSHIRE – PV, Wind Rebates Back in Action
New Hampshire has added more funding to the state’s rebate program for small PV and wind-energy systems. This new funding will wipe out a long waiting list for FY2012 rebates and provide funding for FY2013 rebates. The program budget for FY2013 has not been finalized yet.
NEW YORK – Residential Solar Credit Extended to Third-Party Owned Systems
New York’s residential solar tax credit allows homeowners to claim a credit of 25% of solar system costs, up to $5,000, against their state income taxes. The law formerly required the system to be owned by the homeowner/resident, but a new law (A.B. 34) allows the credit to be claimed for systems owned by a third party. Homeowners may now claim a credit for up to 15 years in the amount they pay under a solar lease or PPA with a term of 10 years or longer.
NEW YORK – Sales Tax Exemption for Non-Residential Solar Established
Non-residential solar-energy systems used for heating, cooling, water heating, and electricity generation will be granted an exemption for sales and use tax beginning January 1, 2013. A nearly identical exemption has existed for residential solar systems since 2005. Whereas the residential exemption is not available for systems that use “any sort of recreational facility or equipment as a storage medium,” the non-residential exemption does not contain this limitation. This could be interpreted to mean that non-residential solar pool heating systems qualify for the exemption, while residential solar pool heating systems do not.
NEW YORK – NYC PV Property Tax Abatement Extended
New York City’s real property tax abatement for PV systems, which was scheduled to expire at the end of 2012, has been extended for an additional two years, through the end of 2014. For systems installed during 2013 and 2014, the abatement will amount to 2.5% of eligible system costs annually for four years (i.e., 10% in total). This is a reduction of 50% from the 2011 and 2012 rate of 5% annually, though the maximum abatement remains the same, at $62,500 annually.
VERMONT – Small Renewables Incentive Program Concludes … for now
Vermont’s Small-Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program has officially closed. However, the Public Service Department has requested additional funds and has proposed changes to the incentive program structure. The Clean Energy Development Fund Board will decide whether or not to approve funding and the new incentive structure by mid-September. If approved, a new incentive program will open September 19.