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Posts Tagged ‘massachusetts’

New funds for energy conservation are available in Massachusetts.

The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has released a solicitation to expand the Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds Program (QECB).

A QECB is a tax credit bond for which the borrower pays back the principal on the bond, and the bondholder receives federal tax credits in lieu of traditional bond interest payments.

There’s just over $4 million available for the fourth round of QECB, and at least 70% of the funds being allocated must be used for governmental-purpose bonds.

The Commonwealth will make allocations to public projects only according to the following priorities:

  • Projects that promote or expand economic opportunities, including job creation.
  • Projects that meet critical energy needs and/or statewide energy-conservation goals.
  • Projects that demonstrate readiness and feasibility.
  • Projects that ANF and EOEEA determine will enhance the public good and general welfare of the Commonwealth.

Of the available funds, 100% must be used for a qualified conservation purpose, such as reducing energy use in public buildings by 20%, research and development of non-fossil fuel technologies, mass transit facilities that reduce consumption of energy and pollution from automobiles, and public education campaigns to promote energy efficiency.

You can read the solicitation from DOER, see a full list of qualified projects, and get instructions on how to apply at www.comm-pass.com, under solicitation number PON-ENE-2013-070. Applications will be accepted from until 5:00 p.m. on August 16, 2013.

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On April 18, 2013 Cadmus staff attended the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) conference in Baltimore, MD. Featured at the conference was a panel discussion of net metering and new finance and policy approaches. Cadmus associate, Erin Sweet, was one of three panelists in this session. Her presentation, entitled “The System of Assurance of Net Metering Eligibility: Early Experiences and Lessons Learned,” drew from Cadmus’ experiences as the developer and administrator of the Massachusetts’ System of Assurance, commonly called the “net metering queue.” Ms. Sweet highlighted distributed generation stakeholders’ historic concerns regarding the availability of net metering services at the time of a project’s interconnection and how 2012 Massachusetts regulations help increase transparency and investor confidence.

Cadmus’ Erin Sweet on the Net Metering and New Finance and Policy Approaches panel at ASES’ Solar 2013

Cadmus’ Erin Sweet on the Net Metering and New Finance and Policy Approaches panel at ASES’ Solar 2013

Working collaboratively with DG stakeholders, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities’ (DPU) developed the System of Assurance of Net Metering Eligibility. This net metering queue ensures that businesses, communities, and other entities developing these facilities will be eligible for net metering services when their projects are complete, assuming they can meet and maintain certain requirements. This web-based application system is now located at www.MassACA.org.
This unique system represents a means to smoothly and efficiently approach a cap on an important incentive. Following the presentation, conference attendees shared positive feedback on the Commonwealth’s approach, and speculated on the applicability of such a system to other, similar capped incentive programs. With 43 states in the U.S. having already established some form of net metering, it may not be long until stakeholders in other states are looking for certainty that their project will receive this important incentive; and the System of Assurance provides a window into one state’s solution.

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The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center in conjunction with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources has announced the 10 communities that will participate in Round 1 of the 2013 Solarize Mass program. The Solarize Mass program is designed to increase the adoption of solar and drive down the overall cost through widespread participation. The more people in a particular community who participate, the greater the savings for everyone in that community.

The following cities and towns are participating in Round 1 of the 2013 Solarize Mass program: Bourne, Brookline, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Lee, Medford, Medway, Newton, Northampton, and Williamstown; with Carlisle and Chelmsford participating as a group.

In the 2012 rounds of Solarize Mass, 17 communities participated with nearly 750 residents and businesses signing contracts to install solar PV systems for a combined capacity of 4.8 megawatts (MW). Last year participants saved an average of 20 percent when compared to the statewide average cost of installing solar PV, all while creating 32 new jobs. Due to state incentive programs, such as Solarize Mass, installed costs of residential solar PV dropped by more than a quarter in 2012; helping the state reach its goal of achieving 250 MW of solar PV by 2017, with 243 MW installed to date.

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