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Feed-In Tariffs and similar programs

Release date: May 30, 2013
Updated: June 4, 2013

State Policies as of May 2013

Location Program Sponsor Program Name Description
California State of California Feed-In Tariff This statewide mandatory program applies to California's three investor-owned utilities as well as public utilities with more than 75,000 customers. Initially created in 2008, revisions in late 2012 expanded the program to a cumulative 1 GW target. Obligated utilities must offer 10-, 15-, or 20-year contracts for their share of the program goal set at a market-based tariff rate. The initial rate will be set according to California's renewable auction mechanism results, but may be adjusted up or down if applications fall above or below incremental program targets. A wide range of renewable generation systems up to 3 MW in size are eligible for this program.
Hawaii State of Hawaii Feed-In Tariff This statewide program requires Hawaii's three investor-owned utilities to enter into 20-year contracts at designated rates, currently ranging from $0.12/kWh to $0.269/kWh depending on the project technology and size. A variety of renewable generation projects up to 5 MW are eligible, but size restrictions vary by island.
Maine State of Maine Community-Based Renewable Energy Production Incentive This pilot program, first established in 2009, requires investor-owned utilities to either enter into 20-year contracts at a rate of $0.10/kWh or purchase RECs at a 1.5- multiplier rate, up to a program cap of 50 MW. A wide variety of renewable energy projects up to 10 MW are eligible, though projects exceeding 1 MW must set rates through a competitive bidding process.
Oregon State of Oregon Solar Volumetric Incentive and Payments Program This pilot program, established in 2010, requires that Oregon's three investor-owned utilities must enter into 15-year contracts with PV generators up to 500 kW. Utility obligations are sales-weighted portions of the cumulative program target of 25 MW. Larger projects (>100 kW) must set rates according to a competitive bidding process, while smaller-project tariffs currently range from $0.18/kWh to $0.39/kWh, depending on project location and size.
Rhode Island State of Rhode Island Distributed Generation Standard Contracts Established in 2011, this program requires that National Grid in Rhode Island accept 15-year contracts to purchase generation from eligible renewable projects. Rates vary by technology and project size from $0.15/kWh to $0.30/kWh for smaller projects, while larger project rates must be determined by a competitive bid process. The program expires at the end of 2013, and has a cumulative program target of 30 MW.
Vermont State of Vermont Standard Offer for Qualifying SPEED Resources First established in 2009 but subsequently revised, Vermont's standard offer program designates a state-level facilitator, Vermont Electric Power Producers Inc. (VEPPI), to enter into 10- to 25-year contracts for eligible renewable projects under 2.2 MW in size. VEPPI purchases the generation and then bills obligated utilities. Contract rates will be determined by a market-based bidding mechanism subject to an avoided-cost cap. The cumulative program target is 127.5 MW, with annual incremental targets. Bids for the first cycle of the updated program were accepted through May 1, 2013.
Washington State of Washington Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Incentive Payment Program The state-level program, which opened in 2006, does not require utility participation. However, for utilities that do choose to participate by providing contracted rates to eligible generators, the state will reimburse the utility for the contracted cost through tax credits, up to a specified limit, through 2020. The tariff rates are set between $0.12/kWh to $0.54/kWh for eligible solar, wind, and anaerobic digestion projects, with ranges depending on technology type and in-state manufacturing designation. Projects may not exceed 75 kW and single customers may not receive more than $5,000/year.

Electricity Provider Programs as of May 2013

Location Program Sponsor Program Name Description
Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tennessee Valley Authority Mid-Sized Renewable Standard Offer Programs Established in 2010, this voluntary FIT program sets a 20-year contract rate for PV, wind, biomass, and anaerobic projects ranging from 50 kW to 20 MW. The total program goal is 100 MW. Tariffs vary by time of day and season, and range from $0.03/kWh to $0.082/kWh in 2013. TVA gets renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with generation.
Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tennessee Valley Authority Green Power Providers Established in 2012, this voluntary FIT sets a tariff for 20 years (though lower for the second decade than the first) for smaller PV, wind, biomass, and small hydro between 0.5 kW and 50 kW. The program's limit is reevaluated annually; it is 9 MW for 2013. TVA gets RECS associated with generation.
California Consumers Energy Palo Alto Clean Local Energy Accessible Now (CLEAN) Established in 2012, this municipal utility FIT sets a tariff rate for PV installations for a cumulative target of 2 MW. Generators will receive $0.165/kWh, per the most recent program update in early 2013, and may not consume the generation onsite.
California Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Feed-In Tariff Program The first round of applications for this volunteer municipal utility FIT opened in February 2013. The program is open to a wide range of renewable generation projects ranging from 3 kW to 3 MW in size. LADWP's rates, which can be set for up to 20 years, vary by season and time of day, and decrease with proximity to the program targets set in individual rounds. The current cumulative program target is 100 MW.
California Marin Clean Energy Feed-In Tariff Program Effective as of late 2010, this program sets fixed rates for a wide range of renewable generation projects under 1 MW. The 20-year contracts vary by type of generation (peak, baseload, or intermittent) and decrease as the contracted capacity approaches the program limit of 10 MW.
Florida Gainesville Regional Utilities Solar Feed-In Tariff This municipal utility PV-specific FIT was established in 2009, and was the first such program in the United States. Contracts are set for 20 years, and rates set in 2013 range from $0.15/kWh to $0.21/kWh (significantly lower than when the program was first established), depending on project size. Currently in its fourth annual cycle, the total program size is capped at 4 MW/year.
Georgia Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative - Small and Medium Scale Program This utility standard offer program took effect in March of 2013. New small (less than 100 kW) and medium (100 kW to 1 MW) PV projects are eligible for the 20-year contracts, with generation generally reimbursed at a rate of $.13/kWh. The program is capped at 45 MW/year for the first two years, and any excess capacity is rolled over into a third year. Customers must sell all project generation to Georgia Power, but retain possession of the associated RECs.
Georgia Georgia Power Solar Buyback Established in 2011, this PV-specific utility FIT was geared toward projects under 100 kW, to set FIT rates at $.17/kWh for 5 years. With a cumulative program cap of 4.4 MW, the program has already reached its limit and is no longer active for new projects.
Indiana Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL) Rate Renewable Energy Production Established in 2010, this utility FIT for PV, wind, and biomass generation projects between 20 kW and 10 MW set 15-year contract rates. However, the program has reached its purchase limit, and is no longer active for new projects.
Indiana Northern Indiana Public Services Company (NIPSCO) Feed-In Tariff Established in 2011, this utility FIT offers 15-year contract rates ranging from $0.10/kWh to $0.24/kWh for PV, wind, biomass, and hydro projects. Project sizes may range from 5 kW to 5 MW, with a program cap of 30 MW. Limited onsite consumption of generation is allowed. This is an experimental program that expires at the end of 2013.
Michigan Consumers Energy Experimental Advanced Renewable Program Updated in 2011, this utility FIT program sets 15-year contracts for residential and commercial PV not exceeding 150 kW in size. Contracts are awarded incrementally in quarterly and semiannual phases, which sum to the cumulative program cap of 3.25 MW. This experimental program also sets in-state manufacturing requirements for PV equipment.
New York Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) Solar Initiative FIT Established in 2012, this utility FIT program sets 20-year contracts for projects for nonresidential PV projects ranging from 50 kW to 20 MW. The FIT rate is currently set at $0.22/kWh for a cumulative program target of 50 MW.
Oregon Eugene Water & Electric Board Solar Electric Program This PV-specific utility program sets 10-year contracts for projects ranging from 10 kW to 200 kW in size. Tariff levels are reevaluated annually, but currently set at $0.0856/kWh.
Texas Austin Energy Value of Solar Residential Rate This utility program applies to residential PV installations of 20 kW, though individual systems must be sized relative to consumption. This program has some similarities to a FIT, but also some important distinctions, namely that the tariff rate is not set for a contract term, and may be adjusted annually according to AE's calculated value of solar, which incorporates solar's energy and generation in addition to other value components such as its environmental and transmission and distribution mitigation value.
Virginia Dominion Virginia Power Solar Purchase Program Contracting for this recently announced PV-specific experimental utility FIT will begin in June 2013. Residential and commercial generators up to 50 kW in size will receive $0.15/kWh for 5 years, up to a cumulative program limit of 3 MW. Dominion will receive the RECs associated with generation, and Dominion's voluntary customer-funded green purchase program will cover the nonenergy component of this tariff cost.
Washington Orcas Power & Light MORE Green Power Program Established in 2011, this program applies to commercial and residential PV, wind, and small hydro generators of less than 200 kW. Contract rates are set for 10 years, and while they started at $0.20/kWh in 2011, the contract rate decreases annually so that early customers receive a higher rate than late joiners.. The program is funded by utility member contributions, and applications for new contracts are accepted only when sufficient funding is available.
Wisconsin Madison Gas and Electric Clean Power Partner Solar Buyback Program This experimental program, which began in 2007, has already reached its 1 MW program cap and is no longer active. When active, it set 10-year contracts for PV installations under 10 kW to receive $0.25/kWh.