News from DSIRE: week of 8/8/11
CALIFORNIA – LADWP to Resurrect Solar Rebates
LADWP, the country’s largest municipal utility, suspended its popular PV incentive program in April, following a surge in applications that drained the program’s budget. The program will be reactivated on September 1, with $60 million in additional funds and reduced incentive levels. LADWP anticipates devoting an additional $60 million to this program for each of the following two years.
CALIFORNIA – Marin County Restores Solar Rebates
Marin County has offered an on-again, off-again solar rebate program for most of the past decade. Rebate levels have been modest, but the program budget has been drained swiftly. The program opened again on July 26. Rebates are currently available for homeowners and businesses who install PV, solar water heaters or solar pool heaters.
CALIFORNIA – IID Residential PV Rebates Reactivated
The Imperial Irrigation District closed its PV rebate program earlier in 2011 due to a lack of funds. The utility has since scraped up $600,000 and re-opened the program to residential customers, effective August 1. The program remains closed to non-residential customers until 2012.
CONNECTICUT – Solar Lease Program Retired
The CT Solar Lease program will cease accepting applications on August 20. Initiated in August 2008, the CT Solar Lease program has supported approximately 800 PV systems with cumulative capacity pushing 5.4 MW. The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund supported the program with more than $38 million in funding.
CONNECTICUT – ARRA-Funded Solar Thermal Incentives Dry Up
Connecticut unveiled a $4 million solar incentive program in October 2009 using federal stimulus funds. The program has received enough applications to fully allocated program funds. The Connecticut Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (the successor to the Clean Energy Fund, thanks to SB 1243) is working on a new rebate program, although details are not expected until September or October.
CONNECTICUT – PACE Yourselves, Local Governments
Connecticut’s massive energy bill SB 1243 includes a provision authorizing municipal governments to create “Sustainable Energy Programs,” available to property owners and funded by municipal bonds (or other sources, potentially). Where available, property owners could enter into contractual assessments with the municipality to fund energy audits, energy efficiency upgrades, and/or renewable energy installations. The assessment then constitutes a lien on the property that would be paid back over time. Compared to other Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) laws in the Northeast, especially Maine’s, New Hampshire’s and Vermont’s, Connecticut’s new law provides less guidance, leaving most of the details up to the municipal governments that choose to establish such programs.
DELAWARE – RPS Extended to Fuel Cells
Delaware has enacted legislation (SB 124) amending the state’s RPS to allow energy output from fuel cells that run on renewable fuels and that are manufactured in the state to qualify to meet the standard. SB 124 also makes Delmarva Power & Light responsible for the RPS obligations of all its customers, and creates a process to ensure that any supplier contracts in place are grandfathered through the transition. Finally, SB 124 creates a regulatory framework by which the Delaware Public Service Commission will review a tariff that Delmarva will file to deploy in-state-manufactured fuel cells as part of a 30-MW project.
MISSOURI – PV Rebate Drama Continues
After a circuit court judge ruled in June that voter-mandated PV rebates in Missouri were illegal, the judge subsequently reversed his ruling, and the rebate requirement is now in effect again. Both Ameren Missouri and Kansas City Power & Light had requested to suspend their programs, but these programs are now active again.
Kansas City Power & Light PV rebates
Ameren, Missouri PV rebate program
Renewable electricity standard
OHIO – AEP Offers Cash for RECs
AEP Ohio, an investor-owned utility, offers two new incentive options for customers who install solar or wind systems. Customers may either sell RECs related to these projects to AEP Ohio, or receive an up-front cash incentive if they agree to commit their RECs to AEP for 15 years. The programs are open to both residential and non-residential customers.
AEP Ohio renewable energy technology program
AEP Ohio REC purchase program
PENNSYLVANIA – 2011 Small Business Grants Available
The Pennsylvania Small Business Advantage Grant Program provides funding of up to $7,500 for energy efficiency and pollution prevention projects undertaken by businesses with not more than 100 full -time employees. To qualify, projects must demonstrate annual savings of at least 25% in energy consumption or pollution output, plus $1,000 in annual monetary savings as a direct result of the proposed project. Some renewables projects have qualified in the past for grants under this program, although certain technologies (e.g., solar, wood-fired boilers) are ineligible. The 2011 solicitation is open from July 25 to August 29.
PUERTO RICO – Green Energy Fund Details Emerge
Puerto Rico enacted two major renewable energy bills in July 2010. Act 82 created an RPS, and Act 83 created the Green Energy Fund. The Green Energy Fund, which is supported by excise taxes collected on motorcycles and other motor vehicles, will run through 2020. Funding levels for FY2011-2012 are set at $20 million and eventually ramp up to $40 million by FY2017. Overall, Puerto Rico is poised to collect $170 million dollars to support renewable energy deployment through the Green Energy Fund.
PUERTO RICO – PV, Wind Rebates Gobbled up
Two new incentive programs supported by the Green Energy Fund — Tier I and Tier II incentives – have been rolled out. The Tier I incentive program is a rebate for residential and non-residential PV and wind systems up to 100 kW. The maximum rebate is 60% of the eligible system costs. The first round of funding ($4 million) has already been fully allocated; the next round of funding opens in January 2012.
PUERTO RICO – PV, Wind Grant Program Launched
Two new incentive programs supported by the Green Energy Fund — Tier I and Tier II incentives – have been rolled out. The Tier II incentive program provides grants of up to 50% of a project’s costs to non-residential entities in Puerto Rico. The program supports PV and wind projects greater from100 kW to 1 MW. Because awards are competitive, least-cost projects are more likely to receive funding. The first application period ended July 5; and the next application period runs from October 1 to October 5.
PUERTO RICO – PV, Wind Tax Deduction Retired
Because direct incentives are now available for PV and wind projects, individual taxpayers will no longer be allowed to deduct such expenses from their taxes. Individuals may still deduct expenses related to solar hot water systems, which are not supported by Puerto Rico’s Green Energy Fund incentives.
WISCONSIN – FOE Incentives Sport New Dollar Caps
Focus on Energy has opened its Renewable Energy Incentive program for the second half of 2011, with new financial caps for all technology types. Prior to the current application period, incentives were limited to 30% of the project cost. The 30% limit is still in effect, but a specific maximum dollar amount is now in place for each technology. Applications are currently only available for small systems; applications for mid-sized systems may become available later this year.