Several states announce new renewable program incentives
A recent review of the Database of State Incentives for Renewable & Efficiency (DSIRE) Web site (www.dsireusa.org) reveals new program announcements in several states. The database is an ongoing project managed by the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Listed below is a sampling of some of the programs currently offered by electric utilities operating in these states.
Kansas City Power and Light (KCP&L) offers rebates to its customers for the installation of net-metered photovoltaic (PV) systems on their properties. The program is available to all of KCP&L's Missouri retail customers on generally available rate schedules. The rebate is set at $2.00 per watt (California Energy Commission - AC) with a maximum rebate of $50,000. Because the system is required to be net metered, the maximum size allowed under Missouri's net metering rules is 100kW.
The Sun Energy Program, implemented through the State Energy Program, offers rebates to eligible homeowners, businesses, organizations, and governmental entities that properly install PV systems. Eligible project costs include the solar PV equipment (excluding batteries), design and engineering costs, installation costs, and interconnection and permitting costs. Eligible system size is greater than or equal to 2kW (DC). The maximum incentives are as follows:
Residential — up to 50% of the project costs or $15,000, whichever is lower.
Commercial — up to 50% of the project costs or $100,000, whichever is lower.
Governmental — $100,000.
The expiration date in Sept. 30, 2010, — or when funding runs out.
In September 2009, New Jersey opened the renewable Energy Manufacturing Incentive (REMI) program, which provides rebates for homeowners and businesses that install renewable energy system components manufactured in New Jersey. Currently, the incentives are limited to PV system components (i.e., modules, inverters, and racking systems). Although there is no size limitation on projects, incentives are limited to the first 10kW for residential systems and the first 500kW for non-residential systems. The rebate is only available to customers of Atlantic City Electric, Jersey Central Power & Light, Public Service Electric & Gas, and Rockland Electric Co. Incentive amounts range from $0.05 to $0.55 per watt (DC), and a total of $1 million is available under this program for 2010.
Commonwealth Solar Stimulus provides rebates to customers served by Massachusetts investor-owned electric utilities and municipal lighting plant utilities for the installation of grid-tied PV systems at residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, and public facilities. Stationary off-grid PV systems that are permanently located on the same contiguous property of an eligible non-residential grid-connected applicant and facility are also eligible for a rebate of up to 10kW (DC) per project. PV projects greater than 5kW and less than or equal to 200kW are eligible. Rebate amounts are as follows: $1.50 per watt for 1kW to 25kW; $1.00 per watt for 25+kW to 100kW; and $0.50 per watt for 100+kW to 200 kW.
Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative's SunWatts Program offers home and business owners two different incentives. Customers installing a PV system up to 10kW and/or a system that costs less than $75,000 have the option of choosing an up-front capacity-based incentive of $3.00 per watt or a production-based incentive (PBI). Customers installing PV systems larger than 10kW that cost more than $75,000 are only eligible to receive the PBI. The PBI ranges from $0.108 to $0.202 per kWh, depending on length of agreement and system connection type (i.e., on-grid or off-grid). Systems must be grid-connected to receive the up-front rebate.
Salt River Projects' EarthWise Solar Energy Program provides incentives to its residential and commercial customers. The residential PV system incentive is $2.70 per watt (DC), with a maximum payment of $13,500 per system. The commercial PV incentive is $2.25 per watt (DC), with a maximum of $112,500, for systems up to 50kW. Larger commercial PV systems (50+kW up to 300kW) are eligible for a PBI of $0.214 per kWh or $0.16 per kWh, depending on contract length.