Tariff Roof-Top Ground-Based BIPV Term
United States of America
Hawaii 500kW-5MW = $1.01/kWh
>20kW-500kW = $0.13/kWh
500kW-5MW = $1.01/kWh 20 years
Florida: Gainesville <10kW = $0.45
10-300kW = $0.39
300kW-1MW =$ 0.32
<10kW = $0.43
10-25kW = $0.39
25kW-1MW =$ 0.32
<10kW = $0.43
10-300kW = $0.39
300kW-1MW = $0.32
20 years
Rhode Island <30kW = $0.45 <30kW = $0.45 <30kW = $0.49 20 years
Washington <30kW = $0.45
30-100kW = $0.44
100kW+ = $0.43
<30kW = $0.49
30-100kW = $0.48
100kW+ = $0.47
20 years
California <1MW = $0.12 (10 years)
<1MW = $0.12 (15 years)
<1MW = $0.13 (20 years)
<1MW = $0.12 (10 years)
<1MW = $0.12 (15 years)
<1MW = $0.13 (20 years)
10-20 years
The US Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative is a national programme aimed at reducing the total cost of solar energy systems by 75% before the end of the decade. However, in terms of feed-in tariffs, each state has its own policy, with some far more generous than others.

Updates

Arizona Nov 01, 2013

At the end of a two-day hearing over an increasingly contentious issue, the Arizona Corporation Commission voted 3-2 in favour of allowing state utility Arizona Public Service to impose a charge of US$0.70 per kilowatt installed on solar net metering customers. The utility said that net metering customers, which are able to claim credit on excess power fed back into the grid, effectively shift the cost of maintaining the grid on to ratepayers that do not use solar. Although the charge is much lower than APS had aimed to levy, the commission’s decision has been roundly criticised by industry and environmental bodies alike. Arizona has become the biggest battleground over the solar net metering issue in the US, with APS revealed to have been secretively funding an anti-solar lobbying campaign.

Massachusetts Feb 01, 2013

The US Solar Industries Association has requested Massachusetts to quadruple its solar programme up to the same level as other north-eastern US states. Massachusetts approaches its 400MW capacity cap, while the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources has recently filed draft revised regulations to its current solar carve-out programme, including an adjustment to the compliance obligation formula for 2013.

New Jersey Feb 01, 2013

New Jersey has a 4GW goal for solar energy deployment while Maryland has a 1.3GW goal.

New Jersey has a mid-range feed-in tariff rate of US$0.31/kWh which is not as much as many other states. Although the tariff rate is low, the installation rate is rising. The reason for this could possibly be down to the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which requires 22.5% of residents’ utility power to come from renewables by 2021.

Rhode Island Feb 01, 2013

The state of Rhode Island offers a more complex feed-in tariff system compared to most U.S. states. This means that it has a different FiT rate for each type of solar installation; ground based, roof based and building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). These rates are all for installations which are less than 30kW and are US$0.62/kWh, US$0.62/kWh and US$0.67/kWh respectively.

Texas Feb 01, 2013

Two bills, SB 304 and SB 305, were filed by Senator José Rodriguez and are designed to promote the uptake of solar energy in the state. Under the SB 304 bill, homebuilders in Texas would be obliged to offer home buyers the option to install a solar energy system in their homes for “heating or cooling or for the production of power”.

Washington Feb 01, 2013

Washington State has passed a voluntary FiT legislation which could provide residents with a maximum rebate of US$0.67/kWh. This policy has been around for about two to three years and has enjoyed some success.

California Jan 01, 2013

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Board of Water and Power Commissioners has approved a 100MW FiT programme. Subsequent 20MW allocations will be made available every six months through 2016 until the full 100MW is subscribed.

Update Oct 01, 2012

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has issued a statement  to join forces with the US Department of Commerce’s (DoC) final determination to promote green energy and economic development.

The imposition of anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) against Chinese manufacturers has been reached. Chinese producers/exporters have sold solar cells in the U.S at dumping margins ranging from 18.32% to 249.96% while they have received countervailable subsidies of 14.78% to 15.97%.

Update Sep 01, 2012

At the 27th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC) held on 24 Sep. 2012, the US Department of Energy has announced  its intension to impose common nationwide practices and streamline local PV policies to ensure stability in the PV market due to 18,000 different jurisdictions across the US.

A bipartisan legislation, S. 3275, was taken to support an “all of the above” energy approach. The Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act will modify the federal tax code to increase private capital investments in renewable energy.

Update Aug 01, 2012

Xcel Energy, a US electricity and natural gas company, has announced an end to its Solar Rewards scheme. The Solar Rewards incentive scheme was designed for Minnesota customers who could not, for various reasons, take advantage of other solar programs. Customers were able to purchase renewable energy through solar project developers from a community-based photovoltaic system

Update Jul 01, 2012

The Department of the Interior and the Department of Energy has published the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for solar energy development in six south-western states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. The Solar PEIS is acting as a roadmap for establishing solar energy zones with access to existing or planned transmission, the fewest resource conflicts and incentives for development within those zones.

The China’s decision to initiate antidumping and countervailing duty investigations against US polysilicon imported into China from the US nited has set fire for an underlying  trade war between US and China.

The US Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative is a national programme aimed at reducing the total cost of solar energy systems by 75% before the end of the decade. By supporting the efforts private companies, academia, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to about US$0.06 per kilowatt-hour, the government plans to aggressively make large-scale solar cost-competitive with other forms of unsubsidized energy. This in turn will enable solar-generated power to account for 15–18% of America's electricity generation by 2030.

Under the SunShot Initiative, the DoE will fund selective research and loan guarantees for high risk, high payoff concepts – technologies that promise genuine transformation in the way in which Americans generate, store and utilize solar energy projects.

California Jun 01, 2012

The California Public Utilities Commission has released details of its new pricing mechanism for its feed-in tariff. Full details can be found here.

1. A two-monthly increase or decrease in price. This will be dependant on market response.

2. Each accepted project will be paid a time of delivery based on the actual amount a supplier generates as well as an individual utility company’s time of deliver.

3. An increase of the maximum sixe of eligible facilities to 3MW from 1.5MW.

4. Small electric utilities have been excluded from this FiT mechanism.

Update Apr 01, 2012

Los Angeles City Council: The council has voted through a measure that will allow the city to launch a trial scheme for new solar installations.

The vote gives the city's Department of Water and Power (LADWP) the freedom to move forward with its proposed CLEAN LA Solar Program, which promises to support up to 10MW of solar PV capacity with feed-in tariff incentives that will provide installations with guaranteed payments based on how much energy they generate.

The small-scale trial will support projects with up to 3MW of capacity, providing installations with payments of up to US$0.308/kWh.

Update Mar 01, 2012

Palo Alto County Council: On March 5, Palo Alto County Council voted in a pilot feed-in tariff programme: the Palo Alto CLEAN (Clean Local Energy Accessible Now). In 2012, there will be a minimum project size of 100kW. The City of Palo Alto Utilities will sign PPAs for facilities generating a total of 4MW.

The purchase prices the city will pay are:

    * 20-year contract:  14.003 ¢/kWh
    * 15-year contract:  13.216 ¢/kWh
    * 10-year contract:  12.360 ¢/kWh 

Applications will be accepted from April 2, 2012. Contracts will be awarded at the end of each month, with the first contracts awarded on May 1, 2012.

The California FiT was amended by legislation on October 11, 2009, to take effect January 1, 2010; however the amendments will not be incorporated into the actual program until the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) develops regulations to implement the program changes. As of September 2010, these rules have not been adopted, and the CPUC is currently considering significant changes to the program. The information presented below discusses the FiT as amended by the 2009 legislation.

The California FiT allows eligible customer-generators to enter into 10-, 15- or 20-year standard contracts with their utilities to sell the electricity produced by small renewable energy systems -- up to 3MW -- at time-differentiated market-based prices.
 
All investor-owned utilities and publicly-owned utilities with 75,000 or more customers must make a standard FiT available to their customers. The tariffs will be available until the combined statewide cumulative capacity of eligible generation installed equals 750MW. Each utility will be responsible for a portion of that cumulative total based on their proportionate sales. 

Florida

Florida caused a bit of a stir when solar came to town as it was the first state to adopt a European style feed-in tariff model. This FiT was introduced in Gainseville in 2009 and is different to other state's systems as it pays out for energy produced, not just that which is fed back into the grid. The tariff is based on the cost to develop the renewable generation project, plus a stipulated 5-6% return.

Hawaii Nov 01, 2011

On November 22, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (HPUC) approved the third tier of island state's feed-in tariff for systems up to 5 MW in size on the island of Oahu and 2.72 MW in size on Maui and Hawaii.

PV and CSP systems eligible for the feed-in tariff must not be larger than 5 MW or 1% of the participating utility's peak load on its system. Tiers 1 and 2 were approved in October 2010.

The rates to be paid for PV generation are well below retail electric rates in the state of Hawaii, which have averaged US$1.01/kWh for residential users and US$1.01/kWh for commercial users in 2011 to date.

Accion Group, which serves as the independent observer for the feed-in tariff, released a report in December 2010 which showed that only 2.6 MW of applications for PV systems to participate in the program had been filed under tier 1 and tier 2. The program also received poor ratings by international organizations, including the World Future Council.

Hawaii Jan 01, 2010

Hawaii's FiT program offers pre-set rates and standardized contract terms for selling renewable electricity to the grid via utility Hawaiian Electric. The rates set for FiTs vary by size of project and by the technology being used and run for a term of 20 years. The program will accept enough projects to provide up to 60MW total capacity on Oahu, 10MW on Hawaii Island and 10MW in Maui County.

The FiT has been under development in Hawaii since a 2008 clean energy agreement between the state and utilities, and aim to help the state reach its target to generate 70% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Hawaii has had a net metering program in place for projects up to 10kW since 2001 and 50kW since 2004, where homes and businesses could offset some of their utility bills with power they generate on-site. The FiT program is being overseen by New Hampshire-based consultancy Accion Group, on behalf of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

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