News from DSIRE: 9/28/12
CALIFORNIA – My PACE Program Can Beat up Your PACE Program
The California Statewide Communities Development Authority and Renewable Funding recently launched a massive PACE-financing program in California. Non-residential property owners in 126 cities and 14 counties can access low-cost property assessed financing for a variety of renewables, energy efficiency, and water efficiency projects.
CALIFORNIA – To Further Free Grid, Interconnection Procedures Modernized
After a lengthy stakeholder process, the CPUC has approved the first fundamental redesign of its “Rule 21” interconnection procedures in 12 years. The new rules, which took effect in mid-September, significantly improve the transparency and ease of connecting to the grid. The new rules feature an intricate array of screens designed to fast-track simpler systems and provide the right amount of scrutiny for larger installations, while providing clear timelines and predicable costs.
FLORIDA – Tampa Electric Joins Solar Rebate Club
Tampa Electric will begin accepting applications for its 2013 Solar PV Rebate program on October 1. Other Florida utility solar rebates opening the same day include Progress Energy’s SunSense program (commercial and residential), Gainesville Regional Utilities’ Solar PV Rebate Program and Gulf Power’s Solar PV Program.
FLORIDA – Local Solar, Efficiency Loan Rates Rise
The interest rates on loans supported by St. Lucie County’s Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF) have increased from 4% to 5% – 6% for renewable-energy projects and 6% – 9% for energy-efficiency projects. The minimum loan is $1,000.
GEORGIA – EMC Solar-Thermal Rebate Levels Drop
Coweta-Fayette EMC has lowered its rebate levels for solar water heaters from $1,000 – $2,500 to $750 – $1,500, based on the nature of the system.
HAWAII – PUC Tinkers with Feed-in Tariff
Over the past several months, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has issued several orders related to the state’s feed-in tariff. Most recently, the PUC issued Order 30635, extending an administrative hold on the FIT and confirming that all systems must apply for a building permit on the same day or prior to filing a FIT application. The baseline FIT rate was lowered from $0.138/kWh to $0.120/kWh. The FIT will undergo its first full re-evaluation by the end of the year.
ILLINOIS – Solar, Wind Rebates Available Now
Illinois’s Solar and Wind Rebate Program has officially re-opened. Incentive levels for all technologies and sectors have decreased (compared to FY 2012 levels), and the maximum rebate has dropped to $10,000. Applications will be accepted through April 30, 2013, or until all funds have been depleted.
MASSACHUSETTS – Commercial, Community Wind Grants on Hold
Massachusetts’s grant programs for commercial wind and community wind programs have closed. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center anticipates that updated solicitations will be issued in late September.
NEVADA – PV Incentives Cleared for Take-off; Wind Funding on Deck
NV Energy recently announced details of the SolarGenerations program for the 2012-2013 program year. The program budget will support nearly 4 MW of PV; funds will be divided between different customer classes in northern and southern Nevada. Applications will be accepted during a two-week period beginning October 26. If the applications received for a certain customer class in either region exceed the budgeted amount, winners will be chosen by lottery. In addition, NV Energy has indicated that details of its WindGenerations program will be announced soon.
NEW YORK – PV to Benefit from Unspent System Benefits Charge Funds
The New York Public Service Commission has directed NYSERDA (Case 10-M-0457) to distribute uncommitted funds from SBC III to various programs of the Technology and Market Development Portfolio. This action will provide $10 million to a new initiative focused on reducing the balance-of-system costs for PV systems and the development of priority PV technology, $10 million for an energy-storage initiative; $3 million for an Advanced Building Consortium; and $2.76 million for energy savings in commercial buildings.
OREGON – Solar Incentive Payment Rates Finalized
Rates for the next round of Oregon’s Pilot Solar Volumetric Incentive and Payments Program, a close cousin of a feed-in tariff, have been released. There are no changes to the rates for small-scale systems, but medium-scale systems must use the competitive bidding process for this round. PGE’s and Pacific Power’s programs will open October 1. Idaho Power’s program will not be open this round; it will open again in April 2013.
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – Solar Water-Heating Rebates on Tap
The U.S. Virgin Islands Energy Office is offering rebates to residents who purchase solar water heaters from local vendors. Systems with a maximum capacity of 120 gallons that are approved by the SRCC are eligible.
VERMONT – State Rebates for Small Renewables Give Encore
Armed with $1.25 million in fresh funding, Vermont’s incentive program for small renewables has re-launched and is now accepting reservations. Incentive levels for PV and small wind have been reduced; incentive levels for solar-thermal systems have not changed. After this funding phase, the program’s future is uncertain.