Gainesville Regional Utilities, the municipal utility serving the Florida city of Gainesville, launched its solar photovoltaic (PV) feed-in tariff program in early 2009. The city’s program set a cap of 4 MW of solar PV through 2016 and the program is fully subscribed. Customers will still have the option of installing solar with the utility’s rebate and net metering the electricity. Continue reading
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In May 2009, Vermont adopted a standard offer program that serves as a small feed-in tariff. Although the program scored only a ‘D’ in feed-in tariff expert Paul Gipe’s recent analysis of North American feed-in tariff policies, it does contain many of the key components of a feed-in tariff policy. Continue reading
The state of Oregon established a production incentive for renewable energy systems in 2009 and the state’s Public Utility Commission finalized rules in 2010 that will allow for up to 25 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to be installed by 2014. Although proponents of the legislation had hoped to develop a robust feed-in tariff in Oregon, the actual program has only small elements of a feed-in tariff. Continue reading
A new study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) reinforces the findings of a 2009 report by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). The ILSR report, Energy Self-Reliant States, concluded that all 50 states could generate at least 25 percent of their electricity needs from in-state renewable energy while 31 could generate over 100 percent. Continue reading
On episode 24 of This Week in Energy, John Farrell discusses PACE, oil spills and smart grids with hosts Bob Tregilus and Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield. Continue reading
Twenty states now allow cities and counties to finance energy efficiency retrofits and on-site renewable energy generation and repay the loan with a property tax assessment. Five municipalities launched Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs in the past two years and these programs have spent $37.5 million to help enable close to 2,000 voluntary residential retrofits. Read on to see how these programs have performed and what upcoming municipal energy finance programs should consider.
A legislative proposal in Connecticut would cut their existing renewable portfolio standard nearly in half but prioritize in-state generation. Backers of the rollback say that renewable energy is mainly bought from outside the state to meet the current standard. The change in the RPS boosts financing tools for in-state power as part of the plan. One interesting quote, "we want projects, not simply percentages."
A coalition of utilities have announced their opposition to a series of 765-kilovolt transmission lines, more than double the capacity of the current 345-kilovolt lines. The lines are proposed as a way to send electricity from the Dakotas, Iowa and Minnesota to Chicago and points east. "If Iowa wants to build a transmission line for their energy, we have no objection. But Iowa or the Midwest should pay for it," said Ian Bowles, secretary of energy and environmental affairs in Massachusetts. New England states want to produce their own wind energy from offshore farms. Continue reading