H.131 – Forest harvesting practices — this bill amended some of the legislation passed last year regarding forestry harvesting practices, including voluntary harvesting guidelines while also requiring the highest efficiency design requirements for instate biomass electric plants. More Info here: http://bit.ly/11pGh9R
H. 520– PV: Clarifies that all solar generation is determined by the AC rating on the inverter nameplate (as opposed to a derate factor), Pellet Stoves: Requires the State to determine whether pellet stoves receiving a state incentive should require a higher efficiency than required by the federal Clean Air Act (due 11/1/2013), Total Energy Study: Changes the Study so the Report due in December 2013 only clarifies the areas needed for more research and areas not needing additional research) , Clean Energy Development Fund: language was struck that required the CEDF Board to maintain funding for the Incentive Program, Thermal Efficiency: Numerous provisions including changes to low-income funding, building energy standards, etc. (but no funding). Biomass REV members – we will need to weigh in on the State recommendation. Final bill available here: http://bit.ly/10AlWTR
H. 395– Establishes a Clean Energy Loan Fund under the umbrella of VEDA for customers to utilize loan support for efficiency and renewables projects. http://bit.ly/13j6k5R
H. 405– Clarifies that the PSB oversight focuses on the electric generation facility of farm methane projects – not manure management, changes to other farm buildings adjacent to the generating system, etc. http://bit.ly/11b3NMb
H. 530– CEDF funding—Unlike most programs this past Legislative session, the CEDF *did* receive support from the Legislature – mostly from the payments of an air mitigation fund (only a limited sum came from the General Fund) (p. 288 & 290). For Fiscal Year 2014, $2.7 million will be available. More information regarding the CEDF is provided below – please do read if this is of interest to you – comments are due on June 5th , 2013. Also has language regarding wind studies. http://bit.ly/1azJGIJ
MODIFIED S. 30 (began as a 3-year wind moratorium which became a temporary ban on all new electric generation of various sizes (which is only renewables right now…) AND defeated roughly 20 amendments and bills that were anti-renewable energy. S. 30 became a coordinated effort to bring members of the Legislature together during the non-legislative session to discuss the findings of the Energy Generation Siting Policy Commission (see below for more detail) and includes language regarding wind studies. http://bit.ly/ZeI713
Energy Generation Siting Commission- Energy Generation Siting Policy Commission – The EGSPC completed its report recommendations, which provide an increased role to municipalities and Regional Planning Commissions (RPC) in Public Service Board deliberations, providing that municipalities and RPCs develop plans that conform to Vermont’s energy goals and statutes. Next step: Selected legislators will review the report this summer/fall to draft recommendations for Legislation next year. Final report available here: http://bit.ly/18v1E2y
Clean Energy Development Fund- The CEDF has $2.7 million available for Fiscal Year 2014, with just over $1 million remaining for this year. REV has held two membership calls regarding how CEDF funding should be utilized – comments are due June 5th. Please send in comments to email@example.com if you have not already provided feedback to REV. For more information visit: http://bit.ly/18zdg20.
Standard Offer- The PSB determined the following bidders to receive contracts for the newly revised Standard Offer program based on a Request for Proposals process: (1) Bennington Solar (2.0 MW, Ecos Energy, LLC); (2) Sudbury Solar (2.0 MW, Ecos Energy, LLC); and (3) Champlain Valley Solar Farm (2.2 MW, Champlain Valley Solar Farm, LLC). Meanwhile, a petition to FERC has been submitted by Ecos Energy stating that the original Standard Offer is not in compliance with Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act (PURPA). For more information see REV Member Dunkiel Saunders blog here.
Solar Municipal Property Tax Update – The State Tax Department drafted guidance policy for municipalities regarding how to tax solar energy projects above 10 kW in size. REV drafted a letter highlighting concerns regarding the suggested process and approach, and is working with the Department of Taxes to address these concerns. If you have concerns, please ontact firstname.lastname@example.org as this is an ongoing conversation. This document, and REV comments can be found here: www.revermont.org/policy-and-advocacy.