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Vermont, Nevada Add Incentives for Renewables

solarthermal2Despite federal efforts to boost incentives for renewable energy, some states are taking an even more aggressive stance in promoting implementation of wind and solar.

A new law in Vermont, for instance, establishes a method for paying providers of renewable energy a rate that guarantees a modest profit, reports RenewableEnergyWorld.com.

Vermont’s Sustainably Priced Energy Enterprise Development Program (SPEED) implements a pilot feed-in tariff policy that is capped at 50 MW. In the program, Vermont electricity customers would pay a rate based on the cost for producing renewable energy, plus a reasonable profit.

Vermont’s program features a specific tariff of 20 cents per kWh for small wind turbines of less than 15 kW, the highest in North America.

Vermont’s feed-in tariff program features:

  • Tariffs that are differentiated by technology
  • Tariffs that are differentiated by size
  • Tariffs set on the cost of generation plus profit
  • Profit set by a reasonable rate of return
  • Long contracts terms
  • Regular program review

The Vermont Public Service Board will review and reset the tariffs every two years, with the baseline review this Sept. 15.

Meanwhile, in Nevada, incentives for solar energy have been put in place, reports RenewableEnergyWorld.com.

The incentives extend a tax abatement program for wholesale solar energy projects larger than 10 MW, and also guarantee low interest rate funding for such programs.

Additionally, Nevada is mandating that the state’s investor-owned utility generate 25 percent of its energy from renewables by 2025, up from the previous requirement of 20 percent by 2015. By 2016, at least 6 percent of the renewable energy must come from solar, up from the previous 5 percent requirement.

Some critics of the Nevada law point out that it does nothing to promote small-scale adoption of renewables by residential users and businesses.

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