DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA – PV Incentive Cuts Materialize
The District of Columbia’s Renewable Energy Incentive Program (REIP), which has been closed to new applications since February 2011, will re-open in October 2011 with substantially lower incentive levels. The revised incentive levels — $1.50/W for the first 3 kW, $1/W for the next 7 kW, and $0.50/W for the next 10 kW — are 50% lower than prior levels. The maximum incentive has correspondingly been reduced from $33,000 to $16,500 per site per fiscal year.

FLORIDA – FPL PV Rebates Snapped up
FPL, an investor-owned utility, has announced that funding for the first round of residential and commercial PV rebates has been fully reserved. If any unallocated funds remain after the first round of applications are processed, FPL may re-open the process on August 30, 2011. Applicants who do not receive a rebate for 2011 may apply for a 2012 rebate in October 2011. Funding is still available for solar water heating systems under this new program, which opened June 29, 2011.

OREGON – Solar Rights Law Expanded
Oregon’s Solar Rights Law has been expanded by legislation (HB 3516) enacted in June.  In zones where residential and commercial structures are allowed uses, PV and solar thermal systems are explicitly allowed as a permitted use.

OREGON – Solar Permitting Law Enacted
With the passage of HB 3516 in June, solar permit application approval in Oregon is a “ministerial function,” provided a system meets certain guidelines. To qualify for this simplified permitting process, a system must not expand the footprint or peak height of the residential or commercial structure that the system is installed on. The system must also be aligned so that it is parallel to the slope of the roof.  Additionally, counties and cities may not charge permit fees for solar permit applications, but they may charge building permit fees for the project. Systems installed in historic districts, in scenic areas, on conservation landmarks, or in other specified areas may require a more extensive permitting review.

OREGON – RPS Adjusted
Oregon’s Renewable Portfolio Standard has been modified. Under legislation enacted in June (HB 262), electricity generated by facilities that burn coal as a fuel source currently may be used to comply with the RPS, provided that the facility stops burning coal completely and converts to renewable energy after January 1, 2012.

VIRGINIA – Geothermal Rebate Program Launched with Leftover Funds
Virginia has hatched an incentive program for residential geothermal heat pumps, offering rebates for 20% of the system cost. Rebates are capped at $2,000. The program was opened with unclaimed funds from the state’s energy efficiency rebate program.