October 19, 2009

State & Stakeholder Newsletter, Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 Volume #8, Issue #21 Editor: Jane Pulaski The IREC State & Stakeholder Newsletter tracks a range of market-oriented news, services and outreach tools valuable to the renewable energy community. This free newsletter is distributed semi-monthly to email subscribers and published on IREC’s website. If you have comments or if you would…

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Volume #8, Issue #21

Editor: Jane Pulaski

The IREC State & Stakeholder Newsletter tracks a range of market-oriented news, services and outreach tools valuable to the renewable energy community. This free newsletter is distributed semi-monthly to email subscribers and published on IREC’s website. If you have comments or if you would like to submit a news item, email Jane Pulaski.

If you want the best news about what’s going on in the states and cities, get IREC’s State & Stakeholder newsletter.

Thanks for reading.

In this Issue…

–State/Local Headlines (IREC States, SAI cities, Interconnection/Net Metering)

–Solar America Cities/Philadelphia: Solarizing Philly with large PV installations

–Current & Best Practices: IREC releases the 2009 Model Net Metering Rules and Interconnection Procedures

–irecusa.org Extra Extra: IREC releases the 6th Edition of its Connecting to the Grid Guide




About this Newsletter/How to Subscribe

State/Local News

(1) CALIFORNIA – Feed-in Tariff Enhanced

SB 32, enacted October 11, 2009, expanded California’s existing feed-in tariff. Previously restricted to individual systems up to 1.5 MW in capacity, with a statewide cap of 500 MW, the new law increased the individual system capacity limit to 3 MW and the statewide cap to 750 MW. The new law also requires municipal utilities to offer the feed-in tariff (see DSIRE record).

(2) CALIFORNIA – Net Metering Sweetened

California has enacted legislation (AB 920) that allows electricity customers who net meter to be compensated for any remaining net excess generation (NEG) at the end of a 12-month period. Net-metered customers now have the option of rolling NEG over to the following month indefinitely, or receiving a payment from the utility at the end of an annual period, at a rate to be determined by the California Public Utilities Commission. Previously, all NEG remaining after a 12-month period was granted to the utility, with no compensation for the customer (see DSIRE record).

(3) CALIFORNIA – SGIP Lifespan Extended

California’s Self Generation Program (SGIP), which provides rebates for small wind energy-systems, fuel cells and related storage devices, was scheduled to expire at the end of 2011. However, new legislation (SB 412) enacted in October extended the program through the end of 2015 (see DSIRE record).

(4) CALIFORNIA – State Permitting Standards for Small Wind Adopted

California has reinstated an expired law regarding county zoning codes for small wind-energy systems. The new law specifies a number of restrictions and guidelines for the siting of wind turbines, and provides that county ordinances adopted after January 1, 2011, for wind systems sited outside of urbanized areas may not be more restrictive than the state law. These standards will remain in effect until January 1, 2017 (see DSIRE record).

(5) CONNECTICUT – CCEF Stimulates Solar-Thermal Industry

The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) has budgeted $4 million of federal stimulus funds to provide incentives to residents, businesses, non-profits and government entities that install solar hot water systems. CCEF expects the funding to support approximately 600 residential systems and 120 non-residential systems over the next 32 months. Only pre-approved applications using pre-approved solar-thermal contractors are eligible (see DSIRE record).

(6) GEORGIA – Guidelines Issued for Clean Energy Rebates

In April 2009, Georgia enacted legislation (HB 473) creating the Georgia Clean Energy Property Rebate Program. This program will use federal stimulus funds to provide rebates for investments in solar, wind, geothermal heat pumps and certain energy-efficiency projects. Final guidelines for the Clean Energy Property Rebate Program have been issued, and the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority will begin accepting rebate applications on October 19, 2009 (see DSIRE record).

(7) MARYLAND – Solar, Wind, Geothermal Rebates Suspended

Federal economic stimulus funds are expected to support a large portion of the total funding for Maryland’s renewable-energy rebate programs during fiscal year 2009-2010. However, due to uncertainty about requirements associated with the use of these funds, Maryland has suspended its renewables programs, pending further guidance from the federal government. The state intends to re-open the programs by October 19, 2009 (solar rebate: see DSIRE record; wind rebate: see DSIRE record; geothermal rebate: see DSIRE record ).

(8) MASSACHUSETTS – Commonwealth Solar Rebate Program Closed

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) has announced that the Commonwealth Solar Program is no longer accepting applications. MTC has determined that it has received enough applications to meet its goal of installing 27 MW of solar energy in the state by 2012. (This announcement follows an announcement the week before that the individual rebate amounts had been lowered.) The MTC will be providing details of the “next phase” of the Commonwealth Solar Program in the near future (see DSIRE record).

(9) MASSACHUSETTS – Fresh Funding for Community Wind

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) is now accepting applications for the second block of grant funding for community wind projects. As with the previous grant period, applications for feasibility grants, design & construction grants, and site assessment services for public projects are being considered. The application period for this round of funding ends November 17 (see DSIRE record).

(10) NEW YORK – NYSERDA Reduces PV Rebate Levels

NYSERDA announced on October 13 that photovoltaic incentives offered under PON 1050 would be reduced for all participant classes, effective immediately. Rebates for residential and commercial systems have been decreased by $0.50 per watt for each tier, and incentives for government and non-profit systems have been reduced by $1.00 per watt (see DSIRE record).

(11) TEXAS – Austin Energy PV Rebate Program Revised

Under revised program rules, Austin Energy will reduce residential PV incentives by $1.00 per watt — from $3.50 per watt to $2.50 per watt. In addition, the maximum rebate will be limited to $15,000 per installation and $50,000 lifetime per site, and it is expected that the revised program will require energy-efficiency standards. Non-residential incentives have been suspended, pending the development of a revised incentive program based on actual energy production. Austin Energy expects to re-open the residential program for new applications by November 1, 2009, and the non-residential program in early 2010 (see DSIRE record).

(12) VIRGINIA – Renewable Energy Rebates Established (But Not Yet Available)

The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) is utilizing $15 million dollars in federal stimulus funds to provide residential and commercial rebates for solar-thermal, photovoltaic and wind-energy systems. Details are not yet finalized, but DMME encourages interested Virginians to sign up for updates. The expected launch date for the new program is November 1 (commercial rebate: see DSIRE record; residential rebate: see DSIRE record).

Solar America Cities/Philadelphia: Solarizing Philly with large PV installations

In 2008, Philadelphia became a Solar America City, setting a goal of 2.3 MW of solar generation capacity, enough to provide electricity to more than 350 households, by 2011. By 2021, that amount will increase to 57.7 megawatts. Just this past June, at the PV America Conference and the 34th PV Specialists Conference, the City was formally awarded its Solar America City designation. But even before it became an official Solar America City, Philadelphia had already built a strong solar awareness as a Million Solar Roofs partnership. MORE

Current & Best Practices: IREC Releases 2009 Model Interconnection Procedures and Net Metering Rules Incorporating Best Practices

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) has just released the 2009 updates for its highly respected and influential rules and procedures for interconnecting and net metering distributed generation. IREC has been a participant in more than thirty state utility commission rulemakings regarding interconnection and net metering of distributed generation. MORE

irecusa.org Extra Extra! IREC releases the 6th Edition of its Connecting to the Grid Guide

The sixth edition of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc.’s (IREC) Connecting to the Grid Guide is now available online. The sixth edition has been revised to include information on IREC’s recently updated model procedures, alternative billing arrangements for net metering, energy storage and several other emerging issues in the field. This guide is designed for state regulators and other policymakers, utilities, industry representatives and consumers interested in the development of state-level interconnection and net metering policies. MORE


(13) New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) Issues Solicitation for Proposals in the Renewable Energy Grid Connected Program

In its 2009 Renewable Energy budget order, the Board directed the Office of Clean Energy (OCE) to develop a new program for funding with new 2009 NJCEP funding allocated through the NJCEP trust. The Board set the budget for this program within the 2009 NJCEP at $6,038,605 and now seeks proposals to facilitate the installation of onshore wind or biomass renewable electricity generating technologies at the economic terms and environmental performance most advantageous to the New Jersey resident ratepayer and taxpayer. Offshore wind, hydrokinetic projects, landfill gas injection into a natural gas pipeline or solar projects are not eligible for this solicitation. Responses are due by 5 P.M. November 30, 2009.


(14) IREC will be busy at Solar Power International 09

It’s already shaping up to be another large gathering of the solar community in Anaheim next week at Solar Power International. According to SEPA, numbers are up from last year at this time. There are more than 900 exhibitors; last year, there were only 420. IREC team members join friends and colleagues on the agenda for three sessions at Solar Power International 2009. Check final agenda for room numbers.

(15) IREC thanks its 2009 Annual Meeting Sponsors

IREC thanks these organizations for their very generous support of our 2009 Annual Meeting scheduled for Monday, October 26 in Anaheim:

  • We Energies
  • Orlando Utilities Commission
  • Spire Solar
  • Tioga Energy
  • Deloitte.

(16) IREC webinar on 11/12: Expedited Permit Process for Small PV Systems

The next IREC Webinar will be held Thursday, November 12, at 2pm EST (1pm CST, noon MST, 11am PST, 10am Alaska, 9am Hawaii) on the Expedited Permit Process for Small PV Systems. The free webinar will last for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The Solar America Board for Codes and Standards has just released a recommended permit process, Expedited Permit Process for PV Systems – A Standardized Process for the Review of Small-Scale PV Systems. Bill Brooks, the author of the report, will present this seminar.

(17) DOE Announces Grants for Solar America Cities Special Projects and Solar Installer Training

Earlier this year, the Departmet of Energy issued its Market Transformation Funding Opportunity Announcement for solar installer instructor training, Solar America Cities Special Projects, and a National Administrator of the National Consortium for Solar Installer Instructor Training. On October 8th, DOE announced the awardees.

(18) Registration Still Open for Solar Power International 2009

Register and make hotel reservations via SPI’s registration website. This year’s conference expects to draw more than 25,000, with 650+ exhibitors, top-notch keynote addresses, 200+ speakers, more than 65 breakout sessions and dozens of optional workshops. IREC team members are in three of those 65 sessions.

(19) IREC Updates its University Directory and Renewable Energy Training Catalog

Pat Fox, IREC’s newest team member focused on workforce development issues, has been working on updating the information on this section of our website and expanding the features available within the Training Catalog and the University Directory.

(20) Solar ABCs Stakeholder Meeting Friday October 30

The members of Solar America Board for Codes and Standards (Solar ABCs) will report on two years’ of progress in developing many codes and standards for new and existing solar technologies. Comments and recommendations from all stakeholders are invited at this meeting on Friday, October 30, 2009, 8 am-12:30 pm, Anaheim CA after the Solar Power Conference. Register

(21) Texas Renewables 09 Celebrates its 25th

This year’s annual conference, November 8-10, in Austin, will address policy developments in business activity in renewable energy. It’s a who’s who of Texas renewable energy veterans, including Austin Energy’s Roger Duncan, Leslie Libby, Karl Rabago and Michael Osborne, Meridian Solar’s Andrew McCalla, and Texas State Technical College’s Emerging Technology Coordinator, Sidney Bolfing. Governor Rick Perry is the luncheon speaker.

(22) CCEF Unveils Website Enhancements

The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) has launched a new interactive website featuring extensive animations and graphics to convey the basics of how clean energy technologies work, while discussing benefits of clean energy technologies and steps to take to install a clean energy system. In the newly enhanced Commercial Installations section, view profiles and photos of over 100 CCEF-supported commercial clean energy installations. Live data links to real-time electricity generation information are available for systems >50kW.

(23) Team Germany Takes First Place (again) in the 2009 Solar Decathlon

They did it in 2007. Now, following in the footsteps of the 2007 team, Team Germany took first place in the 2009 Solar Decathlon with a two-story cube-shaped house with an 11.1-kW photovoltaic (PV) system made of 40 single-crystal silicon panels on the roof and about 250 thin-film copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) panels on the sides, all of which are expected to produce an incredible 200% of the energy needed by the house. Construction costs for Team Germany’s house are pricey: between $650K-$850K, but it’s important to remember that these houses are one-of-a-kind designs that incorporate bleeding-edge technologies. If they were to be mass-produced, as most residential homes are, their overall costs would likely decrease significantly.

(24) DOE Webcast October 28 for State and Local Officials: Feed-In Tariffs

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Technical Assistance Project (TAP) for state and local officials is offering a Web seminar on how state and local governments are beginning to use feed-in tariffs as a policy to advance emerging renewable energy technologies. Karlynn Cory, energy analyst at the DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory, will present several examples of such policies from across the United States. The presentation will take place Wednesday, October 28, from 3:00 to 4:15 p.m (ET). The webinar is free of charge, but you must register in advance to obtain a URL for the presentation and call-in phone number. You can register online, find information about the presenters, and read background materials and reports on the TAP Webcast section of the DOE Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program Web site.

(25) 2nd Annual National Summit on RPS Programs

The 2nd National Summit on RPS, designed as a working session where state officials, federal government representatives and national organizations can share information and discuss how state RPS programs are working, will be in Chicago on November 18-19, immediately following the conclusion of the NARUC national convention at noon on November 18th. For further information about registration or hotel information, contact Meghan LeBourveau at 802-223-2554). This Summit is sponsored with the generous support of the U.S. Department of Energy and the Energy Foundation.

EVENTS Calendar

For a more complete listing of events, click the calendar icon on the IREC home page.

About this Newsletter/How to Subscribe

The State & Stakeholder Newsletter is published electronically on a semi-monthly basis by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc.. To subscribe to this newsletter, click here and follow the instructions. There is no fee for subscriptions. If you have comments or news items, please send them to Jane Pulaski.

Disclaimer: The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) does not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product or process that is referred to or linked to in this newsletter. Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply IREC’s endorsement or recommendation.


This newsletter may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of energy, economic, scientific, and related issues, etc.

We believe this constitutes a ‚ fair use‚ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in the newsletter is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/ 17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this newsletter for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.