New Hampshire and Vermont Renewable Energy Program Updates

New Hampshire now has a financial incentive for small renewable energy systems. The bill, HB1628, has passed through the state legislatures and is expected to be signed into law by Governor John Lynch soon.

The bill includes benefits for those who feed electricity into the grid from systems of up to 5-kilowatt (kW). These include payments of US $3/watt up to a maximum payment of $6000, or 50% of system costs, whichever is less, per system. Solar photovoltaic, wind, microhydro and other renewable electricity generating systems built on or after July 1st, 2008 qualify and must be located on the owner’s property.

In other news, Green Mountain Power Corp. announced the proposed adoption of solar net-metered electric rates, which are designed to make solar energy an important part of Vermont’s mix of cleaner energy sources. The program would work in conjunction with existing net metering’ programs in which Vermonters using solar power feed energy back into the grid when it is not needed in the home or business.

Under the new solar rates program, customers would now be paid by Green Mountain Power for all solar energy generated at a rate of US $0.06 per kilowatt-hour above and beyond the nearly US $0.13 per kilowatt-hour net metering benefit. The new incentive rates, if approved by the Vermont Public Service Board, would be available to all Green Mountain Power customers connected to the electric grid.

“This proposal will make solar energy more attractive to homeowners and businesses in Vermont,” said Mary Powell, Green Mountain Power’s COO. “We are doing everything we can to encourage the adoption of solar energy. It is good for Vermont economically and environmentally.”

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