AWEA Pushes California to Restore Rebate

January 16, 2004 [] The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said they sent a letter at the end of last month to the California Energy Commission (CEC) urging a restoration of funding up to 50% of total installed cost for small wind turbines. The letter argues that fully funding the rebate program previously established by the state would have limited impact on the overall cost of the program and would help diversify the state’s power supply portfolio. In March, 2003, the CEC reduced the rebate amount from 50% of the system’s cost to $2.50/watt up to 7.5 kW, then $1.50/watt above that. For a 10-kW wind turbine (which the CEC derates to 9.3 kW), the changes meant the rebate dropped from the initial $21,450 to $19,590 on July 1, 2003. The rebate dropped again on January 1, which means that owners of a 10-kW wind turbine will now receive $17,730. Even when the program was fully funded, less than 3% of total rebate funding went to small wind turbines, Mike Bergey, president of Bergey Windpower, told AWEA. Bergey said that recent sales figures show that the rebate level reductions for small wind are already diminishing the small amount of momentum in small wind that had been evident in California over the past few years. (Courtesy of AWEA).
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