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CALIFORNIA – CSI Thermal Program Expanded
The California Solar Initiative’s Solar Thermal Program provides rebates for residential and commercial solar water-heating systems. The California Public Utilities Commission expanded the scope of the program in February to include a variety of solar-thermal technologies. OG-100-certified solar-thermal panels used for solar-process heating, solar cooling, or combined solar water-heating and space heating will soon qualify for incentives through the program. These changes are expected to be included in the new program handbook within 180 days. 

CALIFORNIA – SGIP Incentive Levels Drop
The Self-Generation Incentive Program, now in its 12th year, provides rebates for a variety of renewables, including wind. The new program handbook – including new, lower incentive levels for all types of systems — took effect in February. Rebates for biogas, advanced energy storage and fuel cell technologies were lowered by 10%. Rebates for all other technologies were reduced by 5%.

COLORADO – More Solar Gardens Set to Flourish
Xcel Energy recently announced details of its 2013 Solar*Rewards Community Program. Xcel will begin accepting applications June 1 for the standard offer program for PV systems 10 kW to 500 kW. If the previous solicitation is any indication, the 9 MW reserved for this year could be claimed quickly. (The 2012 program was oversubscribed within 30 minutes.)

COLORADO – PV Rebates Fall
Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards program for small customer-owned PV and third-party-owned PV moved to the fourth and final step in mid-March. Incentives are now $0.11/kWh and $0.07/kWh, respectively. Incentives for systems 10 kW to 500 kW are still on the third step. 

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA – Solar Incentive Levels Mutate
The Renewable Energy Incentive Program has been revised for 2013. The PV rebate is now $0.50/W, with a maximum award of $10,000 per site. The solar-thermal rebate is now 20% of installed costs, with a cap of $2,000 per residential site and $6,000 per commercial site.

GEORGIA – Georgia Power Solar Initiative Kicks Off
The Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative, designed to procure 210 MW of solar energy by 2015, has been launched. Solar energy will be procured through RFPs from solar developers, and through solar purchase offerings from small- and medium-scale facilities. The first application window for the small- and medium-scale solar projects opened March 1 and closed March 11.

HAWAII – Solar-Thermal Incentives Raised
Hawaii Energy, the state’s public benefits fund administrator, has raised the upfront rebate for residential solar water-heating systems from $750 to $1,000.

ILLINOIS – Community Renewables Grants Resurface
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is now accepting applications for community-scale solar and wind projects. Grants are limited to 25% to 40% of project costs, depending on the technology and sector. This is the second solicitation issued since the program began, in 2011.

MISSOURI – Renewables, Efficiency Loans Back in Action
The Missouri Energy Revolving Fund Loan Program is now accepting applications for FY2014 loans. Loans are available for solar, wind, biomass and energy efficiency. The application deadline is August 31.

NEW YORK – LIPA PV Incentives Now Based on Expected System Performance
LIPA now calculates PV rebates under its Solar Pioneer program (for residential systems) and its Solar Entrepreneur program (for non-residential systems) based on estimated system performance, as opposed to DC wattage. Under the new system, residential customer-owned systems are eligible for a buy-down of up to $1.92/W (CEC-AC); commercial and third-party-owned residential systems may receive up to $1.72/W; and systems owned by schools, non-profits and governments may receive up to $2.25/W.

OREGON – Next Round of Solar Production Incentives Announced
The Oregon Public Utility Commission has announced incentive rates for the April 2013 round of the state’s Solar Volumetric Incentive Program. The range of payment rates for small systems (up to 10 kW) is $0.285/kWh to $0.39/kWh, and the range for medium-scale systems (greater than 10 kW and up to 100 kW) is $0.181/kWh to $0.23/kWh. The one-day lottery process will be held on April 1.

RHODE ISLAND – Feed-In Tariff Application Window Shuts
The first of three enrollment periods in 2013 for Rhode Island’s feed-in tariff will end March 15. The second enrollment period is scheduled to begin in June; the third is scheduled to begin in September. This program will support an aggregate total of 40 MW of distributed renewables through the end of 2014.

VERMONT – Feed-In Tariff Restructured
The Vermont Public Service Board has finalized a new market-based pricing mechanism for the state’s Standard Offer Program for SPEED resources, pursuant to legislation enacted in 2012. Contracts will now be awarded through an RFP process, with solicitations issued annually on April 1. Projects will be selected based on the proposed payment structure, among other criteria.

WISCONSIN – Focus on Energy Renewables Grants Enter Hibernation
Focus on Energy’s Renewable Energy Grant Program has closed until the next funding round opens, likely this spring. This program supports biogas, biomass, geothermal, PV, solar thermal, and wind projects.