California Incentives Program Faces Changes

The California Energy Commission adopted changes in guidelines for the continuation of its Renewable Energy Program (REP) under Senate Bill 1038 with a vote of 3-0 earlier this week.

Sacramento, California – February 21, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The initial incentive remains at US$4.00 for photovoltaic (PV) systems and US$2.50 for small wind systems as proposed in December 2002. Based on the new ruling, incentives will decline by US$0.20 per watt every six months (instead of 0.25 percent per watt), with the first decline beginning July 1, 2003. Additional declines will occur every six months. There are no longer primary and secondary rebates as proposed in the December 2002 Committee Draft Guidebook. Instead, owners of self-installed systems will receive a 15 percent lower rebate than contracted installations. This rebate discount replaces the US$1.00 per watt for PV and US$0.50 per watt for wind discounts that applied to secondary rebates in the Draft Guidebook. At this time, the pilot performance-based program for systems 30 kW or greater is not being proposed. The Energy Commission expects to develop this program at a later date. A total of US$10 million is still reserved for this purpose. Wind systems less than 30 kW will receive an incentive of US$2.50 per watt for the first 7.5 kW. Increments above 7.5 kW will receive an incentive of US$1.50 per watt. The Solar Schools Program has been suspended at this time pending resolution of issues related to settlement funds collected by the Attorney General’s Office from electricity suppliers. No Emerging Renewables Program rebate is available for systems in publicly owned electric utility service areas. The funds for this program have been returned to the StateÕs general fund as a result of budget cuts. Peter Carvelli can be reached at peter.carvelli@solaraccess.com
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