The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), a regional electricity provider in New York, has resolved a common problem that has plagued numerous utilities across the countries: too many people want to install a solar home energy system.
Many Florida homeowners who applied for rebates when installing energy-efficient air conditioning and solar energy systems as part of the Florida Solar Rebate Program have waited quite a while for that check in the mail. According to the Sun-Sentinel, the program expired at the end of June, its funds having run out months before. Over 10,000 applications were received since the cash dried up, leaving thousands of Florida residents without their solar rebate or energy-efficiency rebate money.
$16.25 million in federal stimulus funds will be put to work making the Bay State more energy efficient. The funds are part of Governor Deval Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery Plan and are intended to support "innovative ways of achieving dramatic energy savings in buildings across the Commonwealth", according to the press release. Of the 11 projects that will be made possible by this money, the largest share went to a perhaps unexpected source: a low-income, tenant-owned 500-unit apartment complex in the South End. The Castle Square Tenant's Organization (CTSO) will use their $4.4 million award to enact whole-building efficiency measures:
The Department of Energy has given the green light for Tennessee to use federal stimulus money for solar power projects. Rather than funding residential solar installations--which we hope will be the next use of spare energy funds within the state--the $62 million will be used for a 5 MW solar power generation plant an hour northeast of Memphis, and for a solar research institute at the University of Tennessee that will focus on solar innovations.
With all the buzz surrounding President Obama's stimulus package--energy efficiency tax credits, a cap-and-trade pollution credit system, tax hikes to the very wealthy, all very chat-worthy stuff--one imporant provision may have escaped your notice. Commercial solar panel installations received a boost when, in the fall of 2008, the federal investment tax credit (ITC) equal to 30% of a solar system's costs was extended for another eight years. In a move designed to encourage movement in an economy where investors are hesitant even about something as attractive as large-scale solar, the stimulus package offers a sweet deal: for commercial solar installations during the next two years, owners can choose between the standard ITC and an actual cash grant of the same value. The grant offer is good for a range of technologies, as is the ITC itself: wind, geothermal, microturbines, CHP, biomass, and more.
If you're keeping half an eye to the news lately, you'll have noticed that there's a lot of buzz about clean energy--solar in particular--as a result of President Obama's stimulus package, which designated a healthy chunk of change (upwards of $33 billion) to promoting renewable energy development. The President is looking to the private sector to jump on board and swell that figure to the hundreds-of-billions, given such a big federal spending push, and as we move into spring we'll see how that pans out.