- Reasonable fixed rates of return for investors
- Standard contracts for all projects
- Guaranteed customers (utilities and government)
- Discuss and allocate pre-determined revenue requirements before submission.
- Differentiate price according to size and type of technology.
- Make cost recovery available through the utility’s Purchased Power and Supply Adjustor (PSA). If this mechanism is not available, use RES adjustors or defer costs to a future date.
- Create a competitive auction process that includes standard contracts for projects between 1 to 5 and 5 to 20 MW in size to take advantage of economies of scale.
- Ensure that any renewable energy technology that qualifies for RES funding also qualifies for FIT funding.
- Establish caps on the FIT program to avoid oversubscription. This includes a cap on the number of small projects and a revenue requirement for mid-sized projects.
- Present projects that have reasonable timelines, bidder qualifications and development security to ensure they get built. Note: Alternative compliance payments were not discussed.
- Allocate renewable energy credits (RECs) from the non-distributed portion of the contract.
- Execute FITs as part of the yearly REST Implementation Plan, starting with the year 2011.
- Propose small commercial projects to the Commission on a first come, first serve basis. Have a competitive bidding process for large-scale projects.
Contact: Mircalla Wozniak, FIT Coalition MarCom Manager (mircalla[at]fitcoalition.com)
The following is taken verbatim from Wilson Rickerson et al's 2008 report: California has played a leading role in developing FITs in the US. California Assembly Bill (AB) 1969 of 2006 established a FIT for systems with a capacity of 1.5 MW and below, capped at 250 MW total statewide. Generators can choose 10-, 15-, or 20-year contracts, and can opt to sell either 100% of their power, or offset their retail load and sell only their excess electricity. Unlike in the German law, California's tariff rates are based on time-of-delivery, rather than the generation cost of individual technologies. This means that all technologies are offered the same price, but that this price varies depending on whether the electricity is generated during peak or off-peak times. In Southern California Edison territory, peak payments can be up to $0.31/kWh in the summer (Rickerson et al., 2008). The original program was limited to facilities sited at wastewater and water treatment facilities, but the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) extended the program to all customer-types, and expanded the cap to 478.4 MW in 2007. Subsequent bills have sought to expand both the overall program cap and the individual project cap, and a recent bill (AB 1807 of 2008) is seeking to increase the system capacity limit to 20 MW, and shift to a more European-style structure based on technology-specific payments.
There are several FIT bills in the state legislature including a bill from Senator Fran Pavley that would establish a cost-based solar energy feed-in pilot in several municipalities. None of the bills have moved yet, and none offer a ‘full system of feed-in tariffs like those in Germany’. In addition, the CA Public Utility Commission (PUC) is in the midst of an exploration or proceeding to expand CA’s limited existing FIT program. PUC staff recently recommended the FIT to systems 10 MW and below and to 1,000 MW total statewide. (Paul Gipe, email@example.com, 416 597 2748 ex. 229, http://wind-works.org )
The City of Los Angeles, California
"Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced to much fanfare on November 24, 2008, that the city's municipal utility would launch one of the continent's largest solar power programs. [...] Among provisions of the plan is a feed-in tariff for 150 MW of solar photovoltaics by 2016." (Gipe, 2008)
Learn more about LA's solar FIT program: Download Clean-Up LA Document
Paul Gipe visited Colorado September 15 - 20. This was a very special opportunity to hear from an international expert on Feed-in Tariffs. While in Colorado Paul met with Durango business leaders, the City of Fort Collins Utilities and Fort Collins energy advisors, Boulder Clean Energy Action, South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce Renewable Energy Task Force, Colorado State Legislators, Colorado renewable energy industry leaders and the Colorado Governors Energy Office. This lead to an "energy action plan".
- Undertake a ballot initiative among La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) to support a Fit pilot project
- Continue member education of FiT in pursuit of coalition building
- Continue efforts to persuade LPEA to study adoption of a FiT: Essentials to communicate
- Initiate research to determine the details of the pilot project
- Propose resolutions by local jurisdictions to support a FiT for Southwest Colorado Electric Power Generation
- Proceed with the development of the Bodo/Dept. of Energy Uranium tailings site for a solar photovoltaic project
- Only for solar photovoltaics
- 20 year contracts
- The maximum capacity allowed is 1000 Kw for ground mounted systems and 300 Kw for building of pavement systems.
- All systems 10 kw or less: $0.32/kwh
- Building or pavement-mounted systems between 10 and 300 kw: $0.29/kwh
- Ground-mounted systems between 10 and 24 kwh: $0.29/kwh
- Ground-mounted systems between 25 and 1,000 kw: $0.24/kwh
Summary: FARE’s 2010 activity was introduction of a bill in Florida during legislative session called “The Florida Farm to Energy Act” which had the best practices of FITs (although it might not grade at an ‘A’ on the WFC report card) and would establish the fixed price, fixed contract precedent. By having this in statute, FARE would be able to go for the pure FIT upon a changing of political tides.
Although the bill did not pass in 2010, we anticipate the tides to be changing anyway and we are currently working with current state CFO and candidate for Governor in 2011 Alex Sink. We are working closely with her to establish a sustainable renewable energy policy, which if in place would give us the platform we need to establish a long term FIT style mechanism.
Since the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Florida has seen an unprecedented amount of attention paid to establishing a renewable energy policy. It is the goal of FARE to capitalize on this attention and help develop a long term policy that will create a sustainable marketplace in Florida.
In the 1st quarter of 2009, the Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy (FARE) created an overwhelming buzz and understanding of a FIT policy where none existed even 6 months prior. In February, FARE hosted a delegation from the EPIA (European Photovoltaic Industry Association) in conjunction with their "Effective Renewable Energy Policies" conference. The EPIA delegation, whose members represent over 80% of the worlds solar production, participated in a whirlwind tour of the State's capitol, visiting with over 30 legislators in 2 days. Time and again, the executive officers of the world's largest solar companies stressed to lawmakers the direct correlation between the growth of their companies and the implementation of a feed-in tariff in Germany and other European countries. Read more.
Having addressed what the future of Florida's renewable energy industry could look like, FARE next focused on what today's industry was made of. FARE held a lobby day in March, bringing hundreds of renewable energy advocates and small businesses to flood the State's capitol with the message that they too deserve a seat at the table when lawmakers determine the shape of renewable energy legislation.
In addition to their Lobby Day, FARE launched a Renewable Energy tour, hosting 5 town hall meetings in 5 days all across the state, sharing their message with hundreds of Floridians and recruiting more and more dedicated advocates to their cause. Read more.
Also in early March, FARE hosted Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, who testified in front of both the House and Senate Energy Committees and held private meetings with Commissioner of Agriculture Charles Bronson, Florida Governor Charlie Crist, and over a dozen individual legislators. Mr. Woolsey testified to the importance of a secure and reliable energy grid, and went on to say the distributed generation that would result from a feed-in tariff policy would help create energy security as well as energy independence for Florida. Read more.
In the second half of 2008 FARE engaged the Public Service Commission in their recommendation process, and in the following six months they changed their position from adamantly behind a tradable SREC policy to now engaging in a steadily increasing dialogue about a FIT systems to address projects under a certain size under a Standard Offer Contract umbrella.
In March 2008, the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association (FlaSEIA) endorsed a legislative policy effort to adopt a Renewable Energy Payment mechanism. The FlaSEIA Board of Directors unanimously concluded that the most cost-effective legislative policy tool to deliver the rapid deployment of solar energy, while ensuring a healthy and sustainable industry in Florida, are energy feed-in payments (FlaSEIA Endorsement Letter PDF). Since FlaSEIA's decision to endorse Florida feed-in tariffs, several other organizations have followed suit: Maryland-DC-Virginia SEIA Endorsement Letter; SolarWorld California Endorsement Letter; Solar Power Partners Endorsement Letter; Environmental Defense Endorsement Letter.
In 2007, Florida Governor Crist issued several Executive Orders to reduce Florida’s greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, and remove market barriers for renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind energy. He created a State Environmental Task Force to review various policy options for achieving these goals. Team members will create a Florida Climate Change Action Plan which will include strategy and proposed legislation for consideration during the 2008 Legislative Session and beyond (Executive Orders 2007 News Release). The task force reported its final recommendations in October 2008.
The City of Gainesville, Florida
From Oct. 4 - 8, GRU will accept applications from customers interested in installing new small solar projects, up to 10 kilowatts (kW) each, through the FIT. Customers sell the energy generated by their system directly to GRU at a fixed price under a contract for 20 years. Space in the innovative program filled up quickly when it officially launched in 2009, and GRU expects similar results with this offer, which is capped at 400 kW – or at least 40 participants.
“When we initiated the first solar FIT in the United States, GRU customers had just over 300 kilowatts of solar installed,” said GRU Energy and Business Services Manager Bill Shepherd. “We’ve now surpassed 2,000 kilowatts which demonstrates Gainesville’s strong commitment to renewable energy and environmental responsibility.”
Customers interested in taking advantage of the new opportunity through GRU’s solar feed-in tariff should review all requirements at www.gru.com and ensure completed application packets are received by 5 PM Oct. 8. In the event that more than 400 kW of applications are received, an independent third party will select projects for inclusion by random drawing.
EDF to Florida PSC: Feed-in Tariffs Better than REC Trading
Florida Solar Coalition Calls for Feed-in Tariffs Over RECs at PSC
Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy Launches
FARE Files Florida PSC Comments Calling for Feed-in Tariffs
Gainesville, Florida Putting REPs into Place
Fueling Demands for Solar
An Idea Catches On
The Rooftop Revolution
Feed-In Tariffs vs Credits
Hawaii state legislature Erik Kvam of Zero Emissions Leasing who drafted the bill says he arrived at the tariff by incorporating the federal tax subsidy and solving a cash flow model for an internal rate of return of 15% after tax. He notes that not unsurprisingly this is similar to the current German solar PV tariff. However, the difference is that the feed in tariffs apply only to excess electricity from net-metering and the tariff is capped at 5% of utility peak demand.
In January 2008, Legislature Representative Thielen introduced House Bill 3237 which was similar to those previously introduced, but with a different rate of $0.45/kWh for solar photovoltaic systems.
None of the bills were passed out of committee. They will have to be carried over to the 2009 session (Rickerson 2008). According to Kvam, "there's real interest here" on both sides of the aisle and "everyone wants to be seen as out in front on this."
On October 20, 2008 the Governor of Hawaii, Linda Lingle, the Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism, the Division of Consumer Advocacy of the Department of Consumer Affairs, and the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) signed an agreement to implement a feed-in tariff policy in 2009.
- Analysis and evaluation of Hawaiian company's feed-in tariff program by Accion Group
- Paul Gipe, Wind-Works Hawaii
In February 2008, Representative Karen May introduced the “Illinois Renewable Energy Sources Act” House Bill 5855, based on the Michigan model.
However, it was amended to remove the Feed-in Tariff. A net-metering provision was added to compensate photovoltaic generators for their excess generation at 200% of the retail rate (Sec. 16-F). Illinois had recently passed legislation to provide $1 billion in electricity rate relief in response to steep electricity price increases. In view of this, House Bill 5855 was met with significant opposition in the legislature as it was thought ratepayers would be too sensitive to legislation that may raise electricity prices (Rickerson 2008). The bill will not move back to the floor this session, but might be reintroduced in the next session as a net-metering bill enhanced to include a broader array of technologies (Rickerson 2008; House Bill 5855 Status).
Contact: Laura Arnold (laura.arnold[at]indianadg.org), Indiana Renewable Energy Association (InREA), (317) 635-1701
Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) introduced proposed legislation during both the 2009 and 2010 sessions of the Indiana General Assembly. A committee hearing on HB 1622 during 2009 was conducted in the House Commerce, Energy Technology and Utilities Committee chaired by Rep. Win Moses, Jr. (D-Ft. Wayne), however no vote was taken. Rep. Pierce introduced HB 1190 during the 2010 short session, however, no committee hearing was scheduled.
During interim between the 2009 and 2010 sessions of the Indiana General Assembly, the Regulatory Flexibility Committee conducted a hearing on FiTs on September 29, 2009. Copies of the presentations made as well as a video file of the hearing can be found at http://indianarenew.org/index.php/component/content/article/1-feed-in-tariff.
On 12/29/2008 Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL) filed a petitionwith the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) in Cause No. 43623 pertaining to their Demand Side Management (DSM) programs proposing to establish a FiT which they called Rate REP for Renewable Energy Production. The order was approved and became effective on March 30, 2010. For more information see http://indianadg.wordpress.com/2010/04/01/final-ipl-feed-in-tariff-effective-march-30-2010/.
Information about Rate REP can be found on the company’s website. See http://www.iplpower.com/ipl/index?page=IPLGeneral&Menu=02000000&DocID=020391af33d6012801538fc10057cb.
Since the Indiana Renewale Energy Association conducted a webinar on IPL’s renewable energy programs on May 27, 2010, it has been reported that several other Indiana electric utilities have been discussing Rate REP with IPL officials. Slides from the webinar can be found at http://indianarenew.org/index.php/inrea-resources.
Indiana Update September 8, 2010
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) has scheduled a technical workshop on a draft Proposed Rule on net metering beginning on September 9, 2010. Although the IURC still has not formally initiated the rulemaking yet, this is a huge step forward for renewable energy development in the State of Indiana. For details including a copy of the new draft proposed rule see http://indianadg.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/iurc-circulates-draft-proposed-net-metering-rule-technical-workshop-sept-9th/
In addition, on July 16, 2010 the Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) filed a petition with the IURC to revise its net metering tariff and to propose a new feed-in tariff. This is the second voluntary feed-in tariff proposed by an Investor-Owned Utility (IOU) in Indiana. NIPSCO pre-filed its testimony on July 19. Copies of their testimony can be downloaded here http://indianadg.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/details-on-nipsco-net-metering-changes-and-proposed-feed-in-tariff-will-vectren-be-next/. Click here for a table comparing the proposed NIPSCO feed-in tariff with the approved IPL feed-in tariff.
A bill, HF412, was introduced in the House that would have the Utilities Board and State Energy Board set FITs.
Contact:Peter Drum, Midcoast Green Collaborative (peterdrum[at]gmail.com)
Summary: The proposed Maine feed-in tariff bill, called the Maine Renewable Energy Sources Act, is currently being drafted with help from the MidCoast Green Collaborative, a non-profit organization, has called for feed-in tariffs as part of a broader renewable energy strategy (Kando 2008 PDF). Legislative Representative Hannah Pingree, is working with the Collaborative, and plans to sponsor the bill when it is complete in the 2009 session (The Coastal Journal 2008).
The Collaborative worked with the Boston University (BU) Legislation Clinics to develop legislative language for a Renewable Energy Payment. The BU proposal would require a 20- year fixed price contract for renewable generators with payment rates, determined by Maine Public Utilities Commisssion, based on generation cost plus a reasonable profit (Rickerson 2008).
The public hearing on a feed-in tariff bill in the Maine legislature was held before the Utilities and Energy Joint Committee on Tuesday, April 14. The meeting ran over 4 hours which is unusual. There was ample support for the bill with more people prepared to testify in favor than the committee had time to hear, about 14 of 23 who came to speak. There was a clear majority of support in the room that was filled to capacity. There were a few who spoke against the bill, most notably a Central Maine Power lobbyist and a representative of big industry in Maine. Rep. Herb Adams, is the sponsor of the bill. Read more at: www.midcoastgreencollaborative.org
In 2007, Governor Deval Patrick announced a target of 250MW of solar electricity by 2017 (Rickerson 2008). Although the state considered Renewable Energy Payments to meet the new target, Massachusetts instead opted to utilize rebates because they were considered cheaper for ratepayers in the short-term. Stakeholders were also concerned about federal preemption issues. In 2010, the state created an RPS carve-out for solar electricity, which stakeholders again suggested should be structured to incorporate FITs. FITs were not selected as the compliance mechanism, although the policy does include a price floor of $0.30/kWk in an attempt to provide investors with a greater degree of security. (More information: http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=eoeeasubtopic&L=5&L0=Home&L1=Energy%2c+Utilities+%26+Clean+Technologies&L2=Renewable+Energy&L3=Solar&L4=RPS+Solar+Carve-Out&sid=Eoeea)
Contact: John Farrell, Research Associate, Institute for Local Self Reliance (jfarrell[at]ilsr.org), 612 379 3815 ex. 210
Summary: In February 2008, Representative David Bly introduced “Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff Act” House Bill HF 3537. The bill is co-sponsored by Representative Bill Hilty, who chairs the Energy Finance and Policy Committee, where the bill was referred, and Assistant Majority Leader Aaron Peterson.
The bill contains the same rate structure as Michigan’s bill, except there are no rates for geothermal resources and small wind generators are defined as systems with 1000 square feet of swept area or less.
Unique to the Minnesota bill, generators must be majority owned by Minnesotans as defined in the state’s Community-Based Energy Development (C-BED) statute. If Minnesota transitions to a C-BED feed-in-tariff as the bill proposes, it could spread to other states such as Nebraska (Legislative Bill 629), South Dakota (Senate Bill 71 PDF), and Iowa (Senate File 255), which have passed or are considering C-BED legislation similar to Minnesota’s (Rickerson 2008).
This bill will not move to the floor during this session.
For the second year in a row, state legislators in Minnesota proposed a statewide feed-in tariff. The 2009 proposal differed sharply from the prior year's, narrowing technologies down to wind and solar PV, capping the program at 20 percent of the state's renewable energy standard (RES), and creating a rate equalization formula that would share the cost equitably across all state utilities.
Despite the changes, the bill fared no better in this session. The House Energy Finance and Policy Division held a hearing on the bill - HF 932 in April but took no action. Utilities lined up to oppose the bill, focusing on the price offered for solar PV and the price setting mechanism. Advocates included the North American Water Office, Windustry, Audubon Minnesota, and the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). There was also a companion bill in the Minnesota Senate - SF 843 - but no action was taken.
In 2010, Rep. David Bly introduced HF 3618 to establish a feed-in tariff for wind and solar technologies. The program had been scaled down from the 2008 and 2009 proposals to a 7 MW maximum project size for wind and 1 MW project size for solar. To work around PURPA limitations, the program was to be funded by a public benefits surcharge on utility bills.
Advocates included Windustry, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Audubon Minnesota, and others. Despite the scale-down, the bill fared little better than 2008 and 2009 offerings, with an informational hearing in the House (no vote) and no hearing at all in the Senate.
Prospects for a 2010 bill are better – assuming Rep. Bly wins re-election – because Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s energy office, staunchly opposed to the feed-in tariff, will be replaced after the 2010 elections. Rep. Bly intends to re-introduce the bill.
link to HF 3618: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bin/getbill.php?number=HF3618&session=ls86&version=list&session_number=0&session_year=2010
New Jersey was an early adopter of a [Renewable Portfolio Standard] target specifically for solar (2% by 2020) and it quickly became the second largest solar power market in the country after California (Prometheu Institute PDF 2006). Between 2002 and 2006, New Jersey achieved triple digit solar market growth through a mix of upfront state rebates (link to a section defining rebates) and solar Renewable Energy Certificates(link). Although this model was highly successful, state officials were concerned that rebate budgets would not be sufficient to reach the full solar target (White Paper Series: NJ’s Solar Market 2006, Winka 2-7 PDF).
[An RPS Transition Working Group] was established to consider various principles and financing models outlined in a series of [White Papers] to support the continued growth and expansion of New Jersey’s solar market. The Summit Blue team assisted the New Jersey Board Of Public Utilities in this market transition stakeholder process by preparing two reports: a qualitative review of market transition options
(Review PDF) proposed by stakeholders and an analysis of estimated ratepayer impacts from the proposed models (Analysis PDF).
The latter report found that the investor security created by feed-in tariffs would lead to lower rate-payer impacts than any other model including RECs and a Hybrid-tariff model (links defining). Nevertheless, the Board opted for a pure solar REC market (Preliminary review of alternatives for transitioning the New Jersey solar market from rebates to market-based incentives).
- the competetive tariff is determind by the market
- there is a complex bidding system to receive the tariffs
- tariff changes occur based on the market
- it is based on the lowest cost to the taxpayer
A bill, HM87, was introduced in the House. It would require a committee to establish a FIT.
To meet the New York’s Renewable Portfolio Standard obligation, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) centrally procures long-term Renewable Energy Certificate contracts on behalf of utilities. However, NYSERDA has been authorized to use a wide-range of policy mechanisms to procure RECs, one of which was a standard offer contract, which would be similar to a REC-only Renewable Energy Payment.
A bill has been introduced in both the Assembly and Senate. The Senate sponsor is Antoine Thompson, from Buffalo. (His aide, Bill Nowak: 716-854-8705, or, 716 882 9237)
During the 2009 and 2010 legislative sessions, advanced Feed-In Tariff legislation was introduced in both chambers of the legislature. The proposed policy would create differentiated, cost of generation-based tariffs for solar, wind, biomass, small hydro technologies. While both bills did gain some support in the form of cosponsorship, the legislation did not advance beyond the energy committees of either chamber. The legislation was supported by a number of grassroots community organizations and NGOs, but failed to gain traction with influential environmental advocacy and lobbying groups. A core group of citizen activists and labor representatives are currently developing a legislative strategy for 2011 that would involve the introduction of new and improved legislation that would ideally be sponsored by influential members of the senate and assembly energy committees or core leadership. The recent implementation of other FIT programs in the region - most notably Ontario - is beginning to elevate the policy's standing among policymakers in Albany, leading to higher levels of interest. It remains to be seen, however, if such interest will translate into new law in 2011, or if other competing proposals - such as a renewable energy credits (RECs) program - will gain the momentum.
Contact: Bob Tregilus, FiT4NV, firstname.lastname@example.org, 775 826 4514.
August 2008-June 2009: Tregilus gives several FIT presentations to various energy stakeholder groups in Nevada.
July 2009: The Great Basin Resource Watch, under the guidance of John Hadder, joins the FIT effort in Nevada and the Feed-in Tariffs for Nevada (FIT4NV) Initiative is born.
October 2009: The Reno Gazette Journal publishes an oped by Tregilus, "FITs Can Boost Homegrown Energy Production."
November 2009: Tregilus is asked to deliver a presentation on FITs to the Legislative Interim Committee on Production and Use of Energy (SCR 19). As a result of the presentation, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) is requested by the Committee chair, Senator Mike Schneider, to open an investigatory docket into FITs (docket #09-11004).
January-April 2010: Two rounds of comments and two stakeholder workshops on FITs are conducted by the PUCN.
May 20, 2010: PUCN Commissioner, Rebecca Wagner, presents the PUCN FIT report to Senator Schneider's Interim Committee. Tregilus also gives a follow up presentation based on the report's findings highlighting for the Committee how a FIT program might be integrated into Nevada's energy incentives mix.
June 2010: The SCR 19 Committee meets for its last "work session" prior to the regular legislative session in 2011. The Committee decides not to submit a bill draft request (BDR) for FITs. Their reasoning, with the exception of Committee chair Senator Schneider, was they did not yet know enough about the policy and have not had an opportunity to study it further. It should be noted that Nevada holds biennial legislative sessions that last 120 days, ergo, being a legislator in Nevada is not a full-time job.
August 12, 2010: Senator Mike Schneider, chair of the Senate Committee on Energy, Infrastructure, and Transportation during regular Nevada Legislative sessions, submits BDR 229 that "Provides for establishment of a feed-in tariff program for renewable energy sources." The BDR 229 will be drafted based on these guidelines:
"Request the drafting of a bill authorizing the PUCN to adopt regulations establishing a feed-in tariff program for renewable energy sources of all types listed in NRS 704.7811. The program must not conflict with existing statutory programs such as net metering and the renewable portfolio standard. The program should focus on providing incentives for projects and participants that do not presently qualify for existing statutory renewable energy programs and, in particular, for projects in the 100 kilowatt to 3 megawatt range. The program should adopt best practices from existing feed-in tariff programs in other jurisdictions, including foreign programs, and should be constructed in a manner to balance potential impacts on ratepayers with advancement of the legislative findings on State energy policy enunciated in NRS 701.010. The program should also be consistent with existing federal requirements. The PUCN should be given the authority to design the pricing mechanism and to administratively set rates."
July 2010: FIT4NV launches its website at www.FIT4NV.org.
August 12, 2010: Senator Mike Schneider of Las Vegas submits bill draft request (BDR) 229 which, "Provides for establishment of a feed-in tariff program for renewable energy sources."
September - December 2010: FIT4NV: ramps up efforts to collect endorsements of the FIT4NV resolution as well as lobbying the Nevada Conservation League (NCL), the Nevada chapter of the League of Conservation Voters, common agenda group members to adopt BDR229 as one of four common agenda issues for the 2011 legislative session.
December 2010: NCL votes for FITs as one of its four legislative priorities. This automatically brings on board over 30 legislators who work closely with the NCL. However, Vote Solar managed to dilute our efforts by entering a competing priority (net-metering plus production based incentive (PBI)) several months after the deadline for submissions (early 2010) and only weeks before the voting began. The Vote Solar's priority tied with FIT4NV. So the NCL used the common elements of both BDRs as lobbying points.
January 2011: FIT4NV actively lobbied legislators, seeking resolution endorsements from commercial property owners, economic development agencies, and the AIA. FIT4NV is in active discussions with NV Energy, the PUCN, and State Office of Energy
February 2011: FIT4NV conducts editorial board meetings with the local news outlets and will be going public with our FIT assessment on Wednesday, February 9th, timed to dilute Vote Solar and Solar Alliance's joint meeting of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor and Energy and the Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor.
February 22, 2011: Nevada State Senate introduces SB184 (formerly BDR229) to create a Renewable Energy Systems Development Program modeled on FIT policies.
March 14, 2011: Independent from the Senate AB268, a FIT bill similar to SB184, is introduced into the State Assembly. Notably, AB268 is sponsored by six Republicans and two Democrats. Additionally, a second, solar only FIT bill, is submitted to the Assembly as well.
Mid March, 2011: FIT4NV brings the Clean Coalition in to help lobby for SB184.
April 14, 2011: The Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor, and Energy passes SB184 on a party line vote and sends it to the Senate floor for a vote.
April 23, 2011: R. James Woolsey , a former CIA director, senior advisor at VantagePoint Venture Partners (the premier clean-tech venture capital firm on the entire planet!), and energy task force member at the Hoover Institution under Reagan Secretary of State George Schulz, comes to Nevada to lobby for SB184. At the same time, Janet Gagnon representation the largest solar panel manufacturer in the United States, SolarWorld USA,lobbies for SB184 as well. Notably, Governor Sandoval's office declined (twice) to talk to Woolsey or Gagnon about SB184.
April 26, 2011: Senate floor vote of 13 yea, 8 nay with two Republicans, including the Senator minority leader, supporting sends SB184 to the Assembly.
May 25, 2011: The Assembly Commerce and Labor Committee passes SB184 and sends it to the Assembly floor. However, SB184 was severely amended in Committee, turning it into a PUCN study (see November 2009 entry above, been there, done that).
May 30, 2011: SB184 is killed on Assembly floor pursuant to Joint Standing Rule 14.3.4, allowing no further action. (Time ran out to act on the bill. This was by design due to Kelvin Atkinson(Assembly CL Committee chair), Marcus Conklin, and Marilyn Kirkpatrick (all Democrats and CL Committee veterans) not understanding SB184 and Kirkpatrick though it was some sort of scam because her employer said it was) and the three Committee leaders being embarrassed by SB184's sponsor,Senator Mike Schneider.. (He told them in no uncertain terms that they did not understand the simple FIT policy.)
June 6, 2011: In the last minutes of the 76th Session, the SB184 FIT study language was amended to AB416, a net-metering plus production based incentive (PBI) bill. Also, at the last minute, NV Energy managed to get an onerous transmission amendment, that would have mandated the public to pay for infrastructure that would have benefited only NV Energy shareholders, added to AB416 as well. By end of June the governor had vetoed AB416.
August 2011: FIT4NV is regrouping and presently considering our options.
Working on funding and coalition building.
What hurdles or obstacles must be overcome?
1) Funding, and 2) regulatory framework that incents NV Energy to oppose meaningful public participation in energy generation.
What would be most helpful to you and others in your efforts to promote a FIT policy?
1) Funding, and 2) broad legal assistance to change the regulatory framework at both the federal and state levels. Utility profits should be decoupled from capital investment in generation capacity and pegged exclusively to distribution, ancillary services, smart-grid, and delivery.
- The rates for the small-scale and medium-scale installations are cost-based rates;
- The rates are differentiated by project size and solar zone; and
- The rates will be reviewed every six months.
PGE - 14.9 MW
Pacific Power - 9.8 MW
Idaho Power - .4 MW (residential systems only)
In addition, Eugene Oregon has a municipal utility, the Eugene Water and Electric Board, which operates a "direct generation" program which is very similar to a feed-in-tariff, except that the rate offered is based on a value that the utility assigns to it, instead of basing it on the cost of production.http://elawspotlight.wordpress.com/2010/06/08/oregons-new-solar-law-not-a-good-fit/
In 2008, Representative Ray Sullivan introduced the “Rhode Island Renewable Energy Sources Act” House Bill H7616.
Unlike Michigan, Illinois, and Minnesota, the Rhode Island Bill does not use a sliding scale (stepped tariff design) for wind systems. Rather systems below 20MW can receive a $0.115 payment and 20-50MW are eligible for a $0.105 payment. Further its solar PV payments are far lower than any of the other bills. Resources without prescribed rates are guaranteed a payment 1.15 times greater than the avoided cost. This bill is still being negotiated.
Contact: Richard Deutschmann, GroSolar (richard.deutschmann[at]grosolar.com)
Summary: Virginia’s Governor’s Climate Change Commission recommended a feasibility study for FITs.
Contact: James Moore, Clean Energy Program Director, Vermont PIRG (james[at]vpirg.org)
Summary: The following is taken verbatim from Wilson Rickerson et al's 2008 report: In 2005, Vermont passed legislation creating the Sustainably Priced Energy Enterprise Development (SPEED) program as part of its renewable portfolio goal legislation. Under the SPEED statute, the legislature directed the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) to establish long-term contracts for facilities one megawatt or less in size. The legislation did not set specific contract rates or length, but the Board was directed to establish contracts "at a specified margin below the hourly spot market price." On March 19th, 2008 Senate Bill 209 (Lyons) amended the SPEED statute such that projects of one MW or less are allowed to sell power under 15 year long-term contracts at levels that are "adequate to promote" renewable resources, rather than linked to the spot market price. The PSB was also directed to establish standard long-term contracts for generators over one MW, which utilities are encouraged to enter into. The state goal is that 20% of retail electricity sales will come from SPEED resources by 2017, but the legislation contains clauses that would suspend SPEED contracts if it is determined that sufficient market growth has occurred by 2012.
On Earth Day the Vermont House of Representatives passed House Bill 446, the Vermont Energy Act of 2009. The bill includes changes to Vermont's Sustainably Priced Energy Enterprise Development Program (SPEED) that would implement a pilot feed-in tariff policy . Learn more: H 446 Bill As Passed by House, and H 446 Bill Status.
The proposed standard contract program is modest even by North American standards. There is a severe restriction on the extent of the program. Nevertheless, this is the first bill proposing a system of feed-in tariffs that has both been reported out of committee and passed one chamber of a bi-cameral legislature in the United States.
The bill was assigned to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy April 28, 2009 and passed the committee April 29. The bill now moves to the Senate Finance Committee.
Is there currently a Feed-in-Tariff in Vermont?
- Program cap of 50 MW
- Project size cap of 2.2 MW
- Contract term: 25 years for all solar project and 15-20 years for all other technologies.
- All renewable energy credits (REC's) are transferred to the utility except for Methane derived from agricultural sources. For this energy source, the generator is allowed to hold on to the REC's.
- Future tariffs based on cost of generation plus profit less applicable tax credits and Other Incentives
- Profit set at rate of return of Vermont electric utilities
- Wind energy tariff <15 kW: $0.20
- Wind with rated capacity of greater than 15 kW,Hydropower, and Biomass (except methane from landfill or agricultural operation): $0.125
- Methane derived from agriculture: $0.16
- Solar: $0.30
- Methane derived from landfill: $0.12
In May 2005, the Washington State Senate Bill 5101 passed in the Assembly creating a Renewable Energy Payment law for small solar, wind, and biogas projects. Homes and businesses with solar PV and wind power systems would earn a credit of 15 cents per kWh of electricity generated by their renewable energy systems up to $2000 annually, fixed over a 10 year period beginning July 1, 2005. The bill combines economic multipliers to increase the system owner's payment rate if the project's components are manufactured in Washington. This can raise the 15 cent per kWh credit up to as much as 54 cents per kWh (Renewable Energy World 2005).
The weakness of this REP is that the price is too low and the contract term (10 years) is too short to make a viable business case for a 3.5 kW-size system. Further, money for the REP is not collected directly from ratepayers a key difference to a model REP (link to part of the website that would describe this) (Gipe 2008).
At least four ‘misguided’ feed-in tariff bills were introduced in the House and Senate and moved forward in committees. The last day for any bill to move is April 24th. Supporters are waiting to see what happens.
For more information on developments in Washington State, contact Mike Nelson, Northwest Solar Center, 206 396 8446.
RENEW Wisconsin, a network of clean energy businesses, educators, utility managers, farmers, builders, and other concerned citizens, filed testimony with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission on September 18, 2006 calling for implementation of Renewable Energy Payments (also known as Advanced Renewable Tariffs) in the state by January 1, 2008. (Gipe, 2006).
This was the first formal action by a non-governmental organization in the US to urge the adoption of Renewable Energy Payments to successfully spur rapid development of renewable energy.
Governor James Doyle of Wisconsin created the Governor’s Task Force on Global Warming (TFGW) in April 2007. The Task Force is finalizing its policy recommendations and a Feed-In Tariff is currently under consideration (REP Proposal PDF) They recommend it for renewable generators 15MW of smaller. The Wisconsin Public Service Commission would set the long-term fixed payment rate in 2009 based on generation cost plus profit.
The FIT would be a component of an “enhanced Renewable Portfolio Standard.” A utility company can apply generation purchased under the Feed-in Tariff policy toward its RPS obligations. Renewable certificates generated under the policy would be granted to the utility company engaging in the power purchase agreement (FIT Proposal PDF). This is a clear example of how the best features of different FIT, REC and RPS can be brought out in a well designed integrated policy mix (link to section of website that speaks to this).
WE Energies (PDF of their RE policies) and Madison and Electric (their RE policies) are examples of utilities (link to whats in it for utilities part of the website) that have small renewable energy payment programs (Gipe 2008).
In January, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin opened a docket to investigate what they are calling, ‘Advanced Renewable Tariffs’ (ARTs). In opening the document, the Commission listed a series of questions seeking comments on every facet of ARTs. Comments from RENEW Wisconsin and Clean Wisconsin were filed on Feb. 17. The groups are awaiting a determination from the Commission about next steps in this proceeding. Comments filed by RENEW Wisconsin and Clean Wisconsin can be accessed at the URL below: http://renewwisconsinblog.org/2009/02/18/renew-clean-wi-submits-comments-to-support-higher-buy-back-rates-for-small-renewable-installations/
To review all documents submitted in response to the Commission's investigation, go to the url below and type in 05 EI 148 in the docket box: http://psc.wi.gov/apps/erf_search/content/result.asp (Michael Vickerman, Ex. Dir., RENEW Wisconsin, email@example.com, 608 255 4044, www.renewwisconsin.org)
RENEW Wisconsin Argues for Generic Feed-in Tariff Case