CALIFORNIA – RPS Receives Steroid Injection
California has enacted legislation that cements California’s RPS at 33% by 2020. Utilities in California had already been working toward the standard, which was initially established via executive order in 2009. However, executive orders, are generally weaker than statutes, and California’s new law provides much more solid legal footing for the state’s RPS policy. In addition to increasing the percentage of renewables required by the previous statutory requirement, the new law also extends the requirement to publicly-owned municipal utilities.

CALIFORNIA – LA PV Incentives on Sabbatical
Funding for LADWP’s popular PV incentive program for FY 2010-11 was exhausted in February.  LADWP, the country’s largest municipal utility, initially continued to accept applications that were placed on a waiting list until more funding became available. In April, LADWP stopped accepting new applications. The program will remain closed for at least 90 days while the utility ponders revisions to the program.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA – Non-Residential Solar-Thermal RPS Rules Clarified
The D.C. City Council has adopted temporary amendments to clarify the certification requirements for non-residential solar-thermal systems under the district’s RPS law. The revised language states that non-residential systems that use SRCC certified collectors (SRCC OG-100) qualify for the standard, temporarily replacing a somewhat vague requirement that non-residential solar thermal “systems” be SRCC certified. The temporary amendment will expire in October 2011. Residential solar-thermal systems are unaffected by the revisions and will still require SRCC OG-300 certification.

MARYLAND – Net Metering Extended to Certain Hydropower Systems
Newly enacted legislation allows “closed conduit hydro” systems to net meter beginning in October 2011. In order to qualify for net metering, a hydroelectric system must operate within an existing potable water system; it must be owned or operated by a municipal corporation or public water authority; and it must produce less energy than is consumed to operate the water supply system.

MASSACHUSETTS – Commonwealth Solar II Block Six Launched
The Massachusetts Commonwealth Solar II rebate program has been running strong since January 2010, with occasional tweaks along the way. Under the new round of funding (the sixth block), rebate levels have not changed, and the base amount is still $0.75/W. However, installers and consumers must review additional application requirements and streamlined processes due to important procedural changes.

OREGON – Pilot Solar Performance-Based Incentive Opens and Closes
Oregon’s Pilot Solar Volumetric Incentive Rates & Payments Program re-opened on April 1, 2011, and quickly filled up. For the second round, only Pacific Power and PGE’s programs were open; Idaho Power’s program was not open. Rates for the performance-based incentive were lowered again for PGE and Pacific Power from $0.495/kWh – $0.585/kWh to $0.396/kWh – $0.468/kWh prior to the second round. The program’s third round will open up on October 1, 2011, with all three utility programs offering performance-based incentives.