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Renewable Energy Legislation

2011 Renewable Energy Legislation

In the 2011 legislative sessions, states introduced nearly 1,000 bills addressing renewable energy - more than 140 were enacted. Renewable energy bill issues included financial incentives for renewable energy projects, renewable portfolio standards, project siting and land-use, ownership rights, net metering, and state energy plans that focus on renewable energy projects.

Financing Renewable Energy Projects

Financing renewable energy projects was a major trend in 2011 legislation with over 10 states enacting legislation related to financing projects. Most legislation focused on financing tools such as loans, bonds and rebates. Two states repealed certain financing mechanisms for renewable energy projects.

Loans

California, Nevada, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming enacted bills relating to renewable energy loans.

  • California’s bill required the Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority to administer a Clean Energy Upgrade Program to reduce property owner costs of a loan provided by a financial institution.
  • Nevada’s bill authorized the director of the Fund for Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservations Loans to provide loans for the construction of renewable energy systems.
  • Texas aimed to promote the use of renewable energy technology in a pilot program under the loanstar revolving loan program.
  • Virginia gave localities the authority to secure loans for the initial acquisition and installation of clean energy programs.
  • Wyoming authorized the adoption of energy improvement programs by local governments to provide energy improvement loans to property owners—many other states have authorized similar property assisted clean energy (PACE) finance programs.

California

Energy: Energy Upgrade Financing

CA A 14 a 2011 (Chapter No. 9)

Relates to the Property Assessed Clean Energy Reserve program. Requires the Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority to administer a Clean Energy Upgrade Program to reduce the costs to property owners of a loan provided by a financial institution that has a loan program that satisfies specified requirements. Requires the authority to report annually specified information regarding the reserve program.

Nevada

Renewable Energy Loans

NV S 60 2011 (Chapter No. 315)

Revises provisions relating to the Fund for Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation Loans, relates to administration of the Fund, authorizes the Director to make loans from the Fund to qualified applicants for the construction of an energy efficiency project or an energy conservation project, relates to construction, expansion or operation of a renewable energy system or the manufacturing of components of a renewable energy system.

Texas

Loanstar Revolving Loan Program and Energy Efficiency

TX H 2077 2011 (Chapter No. 993)

Relates to a pilot program under the loanstar revolving loan program to promote the use of energy efficiency measures and renewable energy technology by community-based organizations and houses of worship.

Virginia

Clean Energy Financing

VA S 110 2011 (Chapter No. 141)

Gives localities the authority to secure loans for the initial acquisition and installation of clean energy programs placing liens equal in value to the loan against any property where such renewable energy systems are being installed, allows the locality to bundle the loans for transfer to private lenders in a manner that allows the liens to remain in full force to secure the loans, relates to distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy efficiency improvements.

Wyoming

Local Improvements and Energy Improvement Program

WY H 179 2011 (Chapter No. 152)

Relates to local improvements, authorizes the adoption of an energy improvement program by a local government to provide loans to owners of real property within a energy improvements area to make energy improvements to existing residential and/or commercial or industrial buildings on the property, provides for financing, provides for loan liens on the benefited property, provides procedures.

Bonds

New Hampshire and New Mexico enacted bills relating to bonds for renewable energy projects.

  • New Hampshire’s bill established that financing may be provided through issuance of municipal revenue bonds for clean energy districts.
  • New Mexico created the “renewable energy transmission bonding fund” which will pay the interest on bonds issued pursuant to the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority Act . 

New Hampshire

Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Districts

NH H 144 2011 (Chapter No. 68)

Establishes that financing for participating property owners in energy efficiency and clean energy districts may be provided through issuance of municipal revenue bonds but not from general municipal revenues, removes the priority lien provision for loans made by energy efficiency and clean energy districts.

New Mexico

Renewable Energy Transmission Authority Bonds

NM S 60 2011 (Chapter no. 2011-33)

Relates to the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority, transfers funds, authorizes renewable energy transmission bonds to be sold at, above or below par, provides for confidentiality of certain proprietary information.

Rebates

  • Maine provided rebates for cost-effective renewable energy technologies.

Maine

Renewable Energy Rebates

ME H 568 2011 (Public Law No. 2011-314)

Provides rebates for cost-effective renewable energy technologies, including solar and wind technologies, allows for rebates for renewable energy technologies to be eligible for funding from the Renewable Resource Fund.

Cost-Recovery

  • Hawaii directed the Public Utilities Commission to investigate an On-Bill Financing Program for residential electric utility customers in order to finance renewable energy devices through their utility bills.
  • Indiana allowed for the recovery of renewable energy project costs through rate adjustments of projects undertaken by an energy utility in order to comply with federal clean air requirements.

Hawaii

Renewable Energy

HI H 1520 2011 (Act No. 204)

Directs the Public Utilities Commission to investigate an On-Bill Financing Program for residential electric utility customers to finance purchases of energy efficient or renewable energy devices and systems through their regular electric utility bills, authorizes the Commission to implement a program by decision and order or by rules if the program is found to be viable.

Indiana

Clean Energy Cost Recovery

IN S 251 2011 (Public Law No. 150-2011)

Relates to clean energy, relates to certificate of public convenience and necessity requirements for projects undertaken by an energy utility to comply with federal clear air, water pollution, and other requirements, recovery of project costs through rate adjustments, financial incentives for nuclear energy facilities, a clean energy portfolio standard program, a clean energy resource study, carbon dioxide transmission pipeline development, and the use of eminent domain for such development.

Financial Assistance

  • California amended an existing law to include thermal energy systems in the definition of renewable energy programs that meet the requirements for financial assistance from the State Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority.
  • Indiana qualified certain waste and methane as renewable energy resources allowing them to receive financial incentives.
  • Virginia enacted a bill which adds renewable energy projects to those projects which the Virginia Resources Authority may finance.

California

Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Finance

CA S 771 2011 (Chapter No. 598)

Amends existing law that requires the State Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority to establish a renewable energy program for financial assistance to public power companies, independent generators, utilities, or businesses manufacturing components or systems to generate new and renewable energy sources and defines renewable energy. Expands that definition to include thermal energy systems, specified turbines, engines, and fuel cells that meet specified requirements.

Indiana

Utility Matters

IN S 66 2011 (Public Law No. 96-2011)

Provides that low temperature, oxygen starved gasification of municipal solid waste, methane recovered from landfills for the production of electricity, coal bed methane derived from a naturally occurring biogenic process qualify as a renewable energy resources for purposes of the statute that provides financial incentives for clean coal and energy projects.

Virginia

Renewable Energy Projects

VA H 2389 2011 (Chapter No. 270)

Adds renewable energy projects to those projects which the Virginia Resources Authority may finance, includes solar, wind, biomass, waste-to-energy, and geothermal.

Finance Authorities

  • California enacted a bill which authorizes community facilities to finance energy improvements to real property and buildings.
  • Virginia created the Universities Clean Energy Development and Economic Stimulus Foundation to identify and administer funding for research and development of clean energy production.

California

Local Government: Community Facilities Districts

CA S 555 2011 (Chapter No. 493)

Authorizes a community facilities district to finance energy improvements to real property and buildings. Authorizes a separate procedure for establishing a district and incurring bonded indebtedness. Provides that the refusal by person to undertake an act relating to a district shall not be a factor in any governmental organization or reorganization. Adds a bond secured by a special tax on property levied by specified districts in the definition of a Property Assessed Clean Energy bond.

Virginia

Clean Energy Development and Economic Stimulus

VA H 928 2011 (Chapter No. 846)

Creates the Universities Clean Energy Development and Economic Stimulus Foundation as a body corporate and a political subdivision to identify, obtain, disburse, and administer funding for research and development of alternative fuels, clean energy production, support of economic development projects in disadvantaged rural areas and assistance in commercialization of alternative fuels and clean energy technologies.

Repealing Funds

  • Maine repealed the authority of the Public Utility Commission to use funds from the Conservation Program Fund to inform electricity consumers of the benefits of renewable electricity.

Maine

Public Utilities Commission Funding

ME H 735 2011 (Public Law No. 2011-283)

Repeals the authority of the Public Utility Commission to use moneys from the Conservation Program Fund to inform electricity consumers of the benefits of renewable electricity, and of the opportunities available to purchase electricity that is generated using renewable resources, including the green power offer and other green power supply products and renewable energy credit products, provides that the Commission shall only undertake such action to the extent that funding is available.

Tax Incentives

Nine states enacted bills relating to tax incentives for renewable energy projects.

  • Delaware updated a tax incentive program by including provisions to specifically attract manufacturers of clean energy technology.
  • Georgia extended tax credits for purchasing clean energy property.
  • Iowa reduced the amount of generating capacity needed for renewable energy facilities in order to qualify for the wind energy tax credit.
  • Both Nebraska and Oregon created tax credits to increase renewable energy development.
  • New Jersey authorized the Economic Development Authority to provide tax credits for qualified wind energy facilities in wind energy zones and establishes and offshore wind renewable energy certificate program.  
  • Washington’s bill included solar energy systems that use a Stirling engine to quality for a tax credit. 
  • Maryland provided a sales and use tax exemption for the sale of electricity generated by certain solar or wind energy equipment.
  • Virginia added renewable energy manufacturing equipment and improvements to facilities to a separate class of personal property they could be exempt or partially exempt them from property tax. 

Delaware

Economic Development Tax Incentives

DE S 40 2011 (Chapter No. 47)

Updates the economic development tax incentive program, eliminates the program's sunset provision, establishes a three-year application deadline, boosts the program's effectiveness by increasing the amount of the corporate or personal income tax credits, modernizes the program's scope by including provisions specifically designed to attract manufacturers of advanced clean energy technology power generating devices and systems, including solar, wind, and geothermal power devices and fuel cells.

Georgia

Taxes

GA H 346 2011 (Act No. 73)

Clarifies provisions authorizing the use of tax information by persons commissioned by the Department of Revenue or where necessary for certain purposes, requires employers to withhold income tax on deferred compensation and stock options, authorizes the transfer of tax credits for donation of real property for conservation purposes, extends and modifies credits for the purchase of clean energy property.

Iowa

Tax Credits

IA H 672 2011 (Signed by Governor)

Relates to tax credits for qualifying wind energy and renewable energy facilities, reduces the maximum amount of nameplate generating capacity for all qualified facilities determined eligible to receive the wind energy tax credit to 50 megawatts, reserves an amount equivalent to 10 megawatts of nameplate generating capacity for eligible renewable energy facilities incorporated within or associated with an ethanol cogeneration plant engaged in the sale of ethanol to states to meet a low carbon fuel standard.

Maryland

Exemption from the Sales and Use Tax

MD H 502 2011 (Chapter No. 462)

Crossfiled with MD S 398 (Chapter No. 461)

Provides an exemption from the sales and use tax for the sale of electricity generated by specified solar energy equipment or certain residential wind energy equipment for use in residential property or for supply to the electric grid.

Nebraska

Property and Wind Energy Tax Credits

NE L 360 2011 (Signed by Governor)

Relates to revenue and taxation, changes a property tax exemption, eliminates provisions relating to a tax credit relative to wind energy generating facilities, includes personal property, provides for a renewable energy tax credit for a new renewable electric generation facility.

New Jersey

Offshore Wind Economic Development Act

NJ S 2036 2011 (Chapter No. 57)

Relates to The Offshore Wind Economic Development Act, establishes an offshore wind renewable energy certificate program, authorizes the Economic Development Authority to provide tax credits for qualified wind energy facilities in wind energy zones, relates to public utility requirements for gas and electricity, relates to basic generation transition costs.

Oregon

Tax Expenditures

OR H 3672 2011 (Chapter No. 730)

Modifies provisions relating to certain tax credits, including tax credits for energy facilities and devices and certified film production development, reduces reimbursements to local filmmakers, extends time during which certain less restrictive qualifications apply in counties in which businesses seek development income tax exemption, creates a tax credit for renewable energy development contributions, energy conservation and transportation projects, provides for an auction of energy related tax credits.

Virginia

Local Property Tax

VA H 999 2011 (Chapter No. 849)

Relates to local property tax, adds certified renewable energy manufacturing equipment and improvements to facilities and devices to a separate class of personal property for local property tax purposes so the local governing body can exempt or partially exempt such property, relates to tangible personal property designed and used primarily for the purpose of manufacturing a renewable energy product.

Washington

Stirling Converters

WA S 5526 2011 (Chapter No. 179)

Concerns incentives for stirling converters, relates to manufacturing solar energy systems that use stirling converters, provides that using a stirling converter manufactured in Washington state qualifies the system for a tax credit.

Grants 

Illinois, Oregon and Virginia enacted bills that established grant programs.

  • Illinois created the Small Business Development Grant Fund which provides grants to small businesses committed to creating additional jobs, giving priority to renewable energy technology businesses.
  • Oregon directed the Department of Energy to establish a clean energy deployment program in order to provide grants and loans to support clean energy projects.
  • Virginia enacted 2 bills relating to grant programs. One created a program within the Clean Energy Manufacturing Incentive Grant Program which provides financial incentives to companies that manufacture renewable energy equipment. The other established the Voluntary Solar Resource Development Fund which will be allocated as grants for projects for solar devices used at residences and nonprofit organizations.

Illinois

Small Business Development Grant Fund

IL H 2073 2011 (Public Act No. 406)

Amends the State Finance Act, creates the Small Business Development Grant Fund to provide grants to small businesses that commit to using the grant moneys to create additional jobs, to small businesses from outside of the State that commit to relocate and for individual projects creating 100 or fewer additional jobs, includes corporations, partnerships and sole proprietorships, provides a priority to minority, female and disabled-owned businesses, provides a priority to renewable energy technology.

Oregon

Energy

OR H 2960 2011 (Chapter No. 467)

Directs the Department of Energy to establish a clean energy deployment program to provide grants and loans to support energy efficiency or clean energy projects, including projects to weatherize, upgrade or retrofit public schools, establishes a pilot program within the clean energy deployment program, establishes Jobs, Energy and Schools Fund, requires the department to establish grant and loan program to support certain initiatives and develop a plan for weatherization of K-12 public schools.

Virginia

Voluntary Solar Resource Development Fund

VA S 975 2011 (Chapter No 839)/VA H 2191 2011 (Chapter No. 806)

Establishes the Voluntary Solar Resource Development Fund, requires electric utilities to provide customers with the option to make voluntary contributions to the Fund, provides that the Fund will be allocated by the State Corporation Commission as grants for projects for the acquisition, installation or operation of photovoltaic devices, solar water heating devices, or solar space heating devices at a residence or a structure occupied by a nonprofit organization.

Clean Energy Manufacturing Incentive Grant Program

VA S 1360 2011 (Chapter No. 864)/VA H 2316 2011 (Chapter No. 815)

Relates to the Clean Energy Manufacturing Incentive Grant Program, relates to the the Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing Incentive Grant Program and the Biofuels Production Incentive Grant Program, creates a program that provides financial incentives to companies that manufacture or assemble equipment, systems, or products used to produce renewable or nuclear energy, or products used for energy conservation, storage, or grid efficiency purposes, relates to job creation.

Renewable Portfolio Standards 

Eight states enacted legislation regarding renewable portfolio standards (RPS) – standards which requires that a specified amount of utility electricity sales come from renewable sources. - -

  • California enacted 2 bills targeting renewable portfolio standards—the first increases the percentage of electricity generated from renewable sourced by specified dates; the second requires the Commission to release to the Legislature the costs of all electricity procurement contracts for eligible energy resources.
  • Delaware allowed renewables fueled fuel cells manufactured in the state to fulfill a portion of the RPS.
  • Hawaii amended the definition of renewable electrical energy in regards to renewable portfolio standards, including customer-sited, grid-connected renewable energy generation to the definition.
  • Maryland passed two bills relating to RPS—One expanded the definition of a Tier 1 renewable source to include waste-to-energy generation; the other allowed specific solar water heating systems to qualify for the renewable energy portfolio standard.
  • North Carolina allowed electricity demand reduction to satisfy their RPS.
  • New Mexico exempted customers complying with the RPS from all charges by a utility if their consumption exceeds 20 million kilowatt-hours per year at a facility that owns renewable energy generation.
  • Oregon stated that when a facility that burned coal as its fuel source completely converts to generating electricity from renewable energy sources, that facility may use the electricity to comply with the renewable portfolio standard.
  • Virginia enacted 2 bills regarding their renewable energy portfolio standard program. One allowed investor-owned electric utilities to receive triple credit toward meeting RPS goals for energy derived from offshore wind. Another authorized invester-owned electric utilities to earn an enhanced rate of return on investments in generation facilities that are fired at least 50 percent by coalbed methane gas produced from Virginia wells.  

California

Energy: Renewable Energy Resources

CA S 2 a 2011 (Chapter No. 1)

Requires notification to the Department of Defense of a proposed energy facility project. Increases the percentage of electricity generated from renewable sources by specified dates. Specifies the duties of the Public Utility Commission related to energy sales by electric corporations. Relates to the renewables portfolio standards requirements, and utility costs in meeting the requirements. Requires a standards requirement verification system. Relates to requirements of the ISO.

Renewable Energy Resources: Cost Reporting

CA S 836 2011 (Chapter No. 600)

Relates to the Public Utilities Commission and the Renewables Portfolio Standard Program. Requires the commission to release to the Legislature the costs of all electricity procurement contracts for eligible renewable energy resources and all costs for utility-owned generation approved by the commission.

Delaware

Energy Portfolios and Fuel Cells

DE S 124 2011 (Chapter Number 99)

Relates to renewable energy portfolio standards, allows the energy output from fuel cells manufactured in the state that run on renewable fuels to be an eligible resource to fulfill a portion of the requirements for a Commission-regulated utility, provides that any supplier contracts in place are grandfathered through the transition, relates to output, relates to tariff provisions and collection of charges on behalf of a Qualified Fuel Cell Provider Project.

Hawaii

Renewable Portfolio Standards

HI S 1346 2011 (Act No. 10)

Relates to renewable portfolio standards, amends the definition of renewable electrical energy to include customer-sited, grid-connected renewable energy generation.

Maryland

Renewable Energy Portfolio

MD S 690 2011 (Chapter No. 519)

Expands the definition of a Tier 1 renewable source to include waste-to-energy and refuse-derived fuel, alters the definition of a Tier 2 renewable source to exclude waste-to-energy, provides that a Tier 1 energy source using waste-to-energy or refuse-derived fuel is eligible for inclusion in meeting a standard only if the source is connected with the distribution grid.

Solar Water Heating System

MD S 717 2011 (Chapter No. 407)/MD H 933 2011 (Chapter No. 408)

Provides that energy from a specified solar water heating system is eligible for inclusion in meeting the renewable energy portfolio standard, provides that a person that owns and operates a specified solar water heating system shall receive a specified renewable energy credit under specified circumstances, requires the total amount of energy generated and consumed by a nonresidential or commercial solar water heating system to be measured by a specified meter.

North Carolina

Electricity Demand and Renewable Energy Standards

NC S 75 2011 (Session Law Number 2011-55)

Promotes the use of electricity demand reduction to satisfy renewable energy portfolio standards.

New Mexico

Renewable Energy Utility Customer Costs

NM S 540 2011 (Chapter No. 2011-93)

Amends the Renewable Energy Act to provide a cap on additional costs to all customers complying with the renewable portfolio standard, provides that any customer that is a political subdivision with consumption exceeding 20 million kilowatt-hours per year at any single facility that owns renewable energy generation is exempt from all charges by the utility for renewable energy procurements in a year, regardless of the number of customer on the system if specified renewable energy development occurs.

Oregon

Renewable Portfolio Standard

OR H 2622 2011 (Chapter No. 225)

Specifies that, when a facility that burned coal as its fuel source completely ceases to burn coal and converts to generating electricity from renewable energy source, the facility may use electricity from renewable energy source to comply with renewable portfolio standard.

Virginia

Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard Program

VA H 1022 2011 (Chapter No. 580)

Provides that an investor-owned electric utility will receive triple credit toward meeting the goals of the renewable energy portfolio standard program for energy derived from offshore wind.

Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard Program

VA S 1392 2011 (Chapter No. 380)

Relates to utility rulemaking incentives and coalbed methane gas, authorizes investor-owned electric utilities to earn an enhanced rate of return, equal to 150 basis points above the authorized rate of return, on its investments in generation facilities that are fired at least 50 percent by coalbed methane gas produced from Virginia wells.

Renewable Energy Credits

Illinois, Maine and Montana enacted legislation regarding renewable energy credits –credit for installing and operating a renewable energy system.

  • Illinois also amended their definition of renewable energy resources to include biogas, biosolids and anaerobic digestion allowing these sources of energy to be eligible for renewable energy credits.
  • Maine enacted two bills. The first clarified that long-term public utility contracts may include renewable energy credits and that payments will be made only after contracted amounts of capacity related to energy or renewable energy credits have been provided. The second bill ensured ratepayer benefits from long-term contracts for renewable energy credits and states that the price paid by an investor-owned utility for renewable energy credits must be lower than the price received for those credits.
  • Montana required electrical generation facilities and utilities that buy or sell renewable energy credits to file reports with both the Department of Revenue and the Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee.  

Illinois

Power Agency Act

IL H 1458 2011 (Public Act No. 491)

Amends the Power Agency Act, amends the definition of renewable energy resources to include biogas, biosolids, and anaerobic digestion produced by local government wastewater treatment plants in the State, provides for renewable energy credits.

Maine

Long Term Public Utility Contracts

ME H 5 2011 (Resolve No. 2011-10)

Provides for legislative review of portions of Chapter 316: Long-Term Contracting and Resource Adequacy, relates to the Public Utilities Commission, amends provisions to clarify that contracts may include renewable energy credits and that payments will be made only after contracted amounts of capacity, related energy or renewable energy credits have been provided.

Electric Utility Renewable Energy Credits

ME S 218 (Public Law No. 2011-273)

Ensures ratepayer benefits from long-term contracts for renewable energy credits, provides that the price paid by an investor-owned transmission and distribution utility for renewable energy credits must be lower than the price received for those credits at the time they are sold by the utility, repeals a provision prohibiting the Public Utilities Commission from entering into or directing a transmission and distribution utility to enter into a contract until certain rules are adopted.

Montana

Price of Any Renewable Energy Credit

MT S 7 2011 (Chapter No. 115)

Requires electrical generation facilities and utilities that buy or sell renewable energy credits to file renewable energy credit reports with the Department of Revenue and the Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee, requires the Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee to review the report, provides exceptions to the reports' contents, provides a penalty for not filing a renewable energy credit report, provides an immediate effective date and an applicability date.

Project Siting and Land-Use 

Nine states enacted legislation relating to renewable energy project siting and land-use.

  • California required the State Lands Commission to enter into an MOU with the United States Secretary of Interior to facilitate land exchanges consolidating school land parcels into contiguous holdings that are suitable for renewable energy-related projects. - - -
  • Connecticut established a moratorium on the siting of wind projects until certain regulations are adopted. –
  • Hawaii allowed renewable energy production on agricultural lands, regardless of whether or not agricultural activity is the primary activity.
  • Nevada prohibited cities or counties from adopting ordinances which unreasonably restrict property owners from using a wind energy system.
  • New Jersey allowed the construction of a wind dependent energy facility within 500 feet of mean high water line of tidal waters on a pier as long as the facility is of use to the pier.
  • North Dakota provided for siting application fees of wind energy conversion facilities.
  • North Carolina allowed certain counties within the state to enter into leases for the siting and operation of renewable energy facilities.
  • Virginia established requirements for local ordinances that address the siting of renewable energy facilities that generate electricity from wind or solar resources.
  • Wyoming gave landowners certain participation rights of industrial siting of wind energy facilities.  

California

Land Exchange for Renewable Energy Projects

CA A 982 2011 (Chapter No. 485)

Requires the State Lands Commission to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the United State Secretary of Interior to facilitate land exchanges consolidating school land parcels into contiguous holdings that are suitable for renewable energy-related projects. Requires a report to the Legislature on the status of the memorandum of understanding and the school and consolidation efforts for renewable energy-related projects. Requires a portion of the revenues to cover the commission's costs.

Connecticut

Moratorium on the Siting of Wind Projects

CT H 6249 2011 (Public Act No. 11-245)

Establishes a moratorium on the siting of wind projects until the adoption of regulations, relates to setbacks, tower heights, distance from neighboring property, flicker, developer requirement to decommission the property at the end of its useful life, ice throw, blade shear, noise, impact on natural resources and a requirement for a public hearing for wind turbine projects.

Hawaii

Renewable Energy

HI S 631 2011 (Act No. 217)

Authorizes renewable energy production as a permitted use on agricultural lands, regardless of whether or not agricultural activity is the primary activity of the renewable energy enterprise, provides that solar energy facilities placed within land with soil classified as overall productivity rating class B or C shall not occupy more than ten per cent of the acreage or twenty acres of land, whichever is lesser.

Nevada

Wind Energy

NV A 122 2011 (Chapter No. 217)

Provides that the governing body of a city or county may enact zoning regulations and restrictions to promote the health or safety of the community, is prohibited from adopting an ordinance or taking any other action which unreasonably prohibits or restricts an owner of real property from using a system for obtaining wind energy on his or her property and may impose a reasonable restriction on the use of a system for obtaining wind energy which is related to the height, noise or safety of the system.

New Jersey

Wind Energy Facility Construction

NJ S 212 2011 (Chapter No. 2011-20)

Allows construction of wind dependent energy facilities within 500 feet of mean high water line of tidal waters on a pier as long as the facility is an accessory use to the other uses of, or purposes for, the pier.

North Dakota

Wind Energy Conversion Facility

ND S 2196 2011 (Chapter Number 348)

Relates to the definition of a wind energy conversion facility to create electricity, provides for siting application fees, includes generation by any means other than wind energy conversion exceeding fifty megawatts of electricity.

North Carolina

Towns and Renewable Energy Facility Leases

NC H 266 2011 (Session Law Number 2011-150)

Allows Mecklenburg and Wake County and the towns of Apex, Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Morrisville, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell, and Zebulon to enter into leases for the siting and operation of a renewable energy facility for up to 20 years without treating it as a sale and giving notice by publication, and exempting those local governments, from bidding requirements when letting contracts for use as part of local pilot programs aimed at increasing energy efficiency.

Virginia

Wind and Solar Facility Siting Ordinances

VA S 862 2011 (Chapter No. 750)

Establishes requirements for local ordinances that address the siting of renewable energy facilities that generate electricity from wind or solar resources, requires that such ordinances be consistent with certain policies and include provisions establishing reasonable requirements limiting noise, requiring buffer areas and setbacks, and addressing facility decommissioning.

Wyoming

Industrial Siting of Wind Energy Facilities

WY S 58 2011 (Chapter No. 146)

Relates to industrial siting for wind energy facilities, requires the identification of specified landowners, gives specified landowners the right to notice and other participation rights, requires the disclosure of specified industrial siting information, expands the persons entitled to be parties to the industrial siting process.

Ownership Rights

Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma and Wyoming enacted bills relating to renewable energyownership rights of surface property.

  • Kansas enacted a bill that only allows surface owners of land to have the right to produce or grant the right to wind or solar generation on their land.
  • Montana attached wind energy rights to surface estates.
  • Oklahoma enacted three bills. The first prohibited the use of eminent domain—an action of the state to seize a citizen's private property—for the development of wind farms or wind turbines. The second stated that a wind energy developer shall not unreasonably interfere with the mineral owner’s right to make reasonable use of the surface estate. It also states that a wind energy developer will provide written notice of its intent to construct the wind energy facility to all lessees of oil and gas leases.  The third repealed a provision prohibiting a wind or solar energy agreement from interfering with or superseding an entity’s right to obtain easements.
  • Wyoming established that wind energy rights are real property and owned by the surface estate owner.   

Kansas

Renewable Energy

KS S 227 2011 (Chapter No. 2011-52)

Provides that no person other than the surface owner of a tract of land shall have the right to use such land for the production of wind or solar generated energy unless granted such right by the lawful owner of the surface estate by lease or easement.

Montana

Wind Energy Rights

MT H 295 2011 (Chapter No. 249)

Relates to wind easements and wind energy rights, defines wind energy rights as property rights, provides that wind energy rights are appurtenant to the surface estate, provides for wind easements, provides for wind option agreements and wind energy agreements and their minimum requirements, affirms the dominance of a mineral estate.

Oklahoma

Use of Eminent Domain for Wind Farms

OK S 124 2011 (Chapter No. 124)

Relates to the power of eminent domain, relate to granting the power of eminent domain to furnish light, heat, or power by electricity or gas, prohibits the use of eminent domain for development of wind farms or wind turbines on private property.

Wind Energy

OK H 1821 2011 (Chapter No. 197)

Provides that the lessee of a wind or solar energy agreement or the wind energy developer shall not unreasonably interfere with the mineral owner's right to make reasonable use of the surface estate, including the right of ingress and egress therefor, for the purpose of exploring, severing, capturing and producing the minerals, provides that a wind energy developer shall provide written notice of its intent to construct the wind energy facility to all lessees of oil and gas leases.

Commercial Wind and Solar Energy Conversion Systems

OK H 1564 2011 (Chapter No. 50)

Amends provisions restricting the permanent severing of airspace of real property for the purpose of developing and operating commercial wind or solar energy conversion systems, repeals a provision prohibiting a wind or solar energy agreement from interfering with or superseding an entity's right to obtain easements, clarifies requirements for the recording of instruments and related memorandum of easements creating a land right.

Wyoming

Wind Energy Rights

WY S 22 2011 (Chapter No. 3)

Relates to property, provides that wind energy rights are real property appurtenant to the surface estate, provides that all incidents of ownership regarding executive rights, rents, royalties and development shall be exercised by the owner of the surface estate, provides for wind energy agreements, specifies requirements for agreements, specifies applicability of the act, provides for reversion of interests, provides for dominance of a mineral estate, provides for reversion of easements.

Homeowners Associations

Illinois and Texas enacted legislation regarding homeowners associations and renewable energy systems.

  • Illinois required a homeowner’s association will address the location and design requirements of wind energy collection systems.
  • Texas does not allow a property owners’ association to enforce any provision that prohibits or restricts a property owner from installing a solar device.  

Illinois

Homeowners Energy Policy

IL H 991 2011 (Public Act No. 105)

Changes the Homeowners' Solar Rights Act to the the Homeowners' Energy Policy Statement Act, provides that the energy policy statement that a homeowners' association, common interest community association and condominium unit owners' association adopts shall address the location, design, and architectural requirements of composting, rainwater collection, or wind energy collection systems as well whether a wind energy, rain water collection, or composting system is allowed.

Texas

Property Owners Association Roofing and Solar Energy

TX H 362 2011 (Chapter No. 939)

Relates to regulation by a property owners' association of the installation of solar energy devices and certain roofing materials on property, relates to a development period and the right to develop and market a subdivision, provides that a property owners' association may not include or enforce any provision in a dedicatory instrument that prohibits or restricts a property owner from installing a solar energy device.

Exemptions From Regulation

California and Hawaii enacted legislation that exempts specific renewable energy projects from certain regulations.

  • California exempted the installation of a solar energy system on the roof of an existing building or parking lot from the State Environmental Quality Act.
  • Hawaii exempted third-party owners and operators of on-site renewable heat and energy generating equipment from being regulated as a public utility.  

California

Environmental Quality

CA S 226 2011 (Chapter No. 469)

Exempts from the State Environmental Quality Act the installation of a solar energy system on the roof of an existing building or parking lot meeting specified conditions. Relates to procedures regarding project scoping meetings for specified projects, and proposals for action related to a local general plan. Relates to infill and transit priority projects. Relates to an exemption for solar photovoltaic projects on agricultural lands. Relates to thermal powerplant certification.

Hawaii

Renewable Energy

HI S 704 2011 (Act No. 9)

Exempts third-party owners and operators of on-site renewable heat and energy generating equipment from regulation as public utilities by the Public Utilities Commission.

Renewable Energy Districts

Arizona and Illinois enacted bills relating to renewable energy districts – designated districts that may produce renewable energy.

  • Arizona required the board of supervisors to establish a renewable energy incentive plan to encourage the construction and operation of renewable energy equipment in the district if they establish a renewable energy incentive district.
  • Illinois created the Renewable Energy Production District Act which allows any area within the boundaries of a single county to be incorporated as a renewable energy production district.  

Arizona

County Infill and Renewable Energy Districts

AZ H 2458 2011 (Chapter No. 335)

Relates to county infill, renewable energy districts and county boards of supervisors, provides that if the board of supervisors establishes a renewable energy incentive district, it shall adopt a renewable energy incentive plan to encourage the construction and operation of renewable energy equipment in the district, provides for abatement of zoning fees, processing fees, county improvement district fees ad assessments for development activities, allows expedited processing of plans, proposals and permits.

Illinois

Renewable Energy Production District Act

IL H 1487 2011 (Public Act No. 265)

Creates the Renewable Energy Production District Act, provides that any area within the boundaries of a single county may be incorporated as a renewable energy production district, authorizes a board of trustees to sell the renewable energy, relates to a generator powered by solar electric energy or wind, dedicated crops grown for electricity generation, anaerobic digestion of livestock or food processing waste, fuel cells or microturbines powered by renewable fuels or hydroelectric energy.

Net Metering 

Seven states enacted legislation regarding net metering,  which allows small renewable energy system owners generate energy and receive credit for the electricity they generate.

  • California required an eligible customer-generator to utilize a renewable source listed in its definitions of a renewable electrical generation facility (hydroelectric generation is not included in the definitions).
  • Maryland included a customer that uses a specified type of hydroelectric generating facility into their definition of net metering.
  • New York included micro-hydroelectric systems into its definition of eligible systems for net metering. New York also included fuel cell generating equipment into their net metering laws.
  • Maine allowed eligible customers who have small renewable or highly efficient generators to elect net energy billing.
  • New Hampshire redefined an eligible net metering customer-generator to include micro combined heat and power systems.
  • Rhode Island promoted installation of customer-sited, grid-connected generation of renewable energy through net metering of electricity.
  • Virginia increased the maximum capacity of an electrical generation facility of a residential customer from 10 to 20 kilowatts.   

California

Electricity: Net Energy Metering

CA S 489 2011 (Chapter No. 593)

Relates to net energy metering. Requires an eligible customer-generator to utilize a renewable source listed in the definition of a renewable electrical generation facility used for the Renewable Energy Resources Program. Provides that a small hydroelectric generation facility is not an eligible renewable electrical generation facility. Requires a customer of an electrical corporation to use specified technology for funding pursuant to the self-generation incentive program. Repeals a related pilot project.

 

Maryland

Customer Generators

MD S 271 2011 (Chapter No. 47)

Includes in the definition of eligible customer-generators that are eligible for net energy metering a customer that uses a specified type of hydroelectric generating facility, defines "closed conduit hydro".

Maine

Net Energy Billing

ME S 239 (Public Law No. 2011-262)

Provides that under current rules of the Public Utilities Commission, eligible customers who have certain interests in small renewable or highly efficient generators may elect net energy billing under which the eligible customer is billed on the basis of net energy used by that eligible customer, taking into account electricity generated by the eligible customer and electricity delivered to the eligible customer by the transmission and distribution utility.

New Hampshire

Net Metering

NH H 381 2011 (Chapter No. 168)

Redefines "eligible customer-generator", in order to authorize net metering for micro-combined heat and power systems, as an electric utility customer who owns or operates an electrical generating facility either powered by renewable energy or which employs a heat led combined heat and power system, limits the total rated generated capacity to no more than 2 megawatts from combined heat and power systems for purposes of net energy metering.

New York

Net Energy Metering

NY S 1149 2011 (Chapter No. 546)

Expands the list of electric generating systems eligible for net metering to include micro-hydroelectric systems, allows residential and non-residential customers utilizing micro-hydroelectric generating equipment to participate in net-metering.

Remote Net Metering

NY A 6270 2011 (Chapter No. 35)

Relates to remote net metering by farm and non-residential customer-generators with solar electric or wind energy generating equipment, permits designating credits over a period of time.

Definitions Pertaining to Net Energy Metering Standards

NY A 7765 2011 (Chapter No. 530)

Includes fuel cell generating equipment sited by non-residential electrical customers into the state's net electrical metering laws, allows non-residential electric customers who own, lease or operate fuel cell generating equipment at their premises to participate in net energy metering in a similar manner to residential customers who generate electricity from such devices.

Rhode Island

Public Utilities and Carriers

RI S 457 2011 (Public Law No. 2011-147)

Facilitates and promotes installation of a customer-sited, grid connected generation of renewable energy through net metering of electricity, provides for municipal net metering financing arrangements.

Virginia

Net Energy Metering Program

VA H 1983 2011 (Chapter No. 239)

Increases the maximum capacity of an electrical generation facility of a residential customer that qualifies for participation in a net energy metering program from 10 to 20 kilowatts, provides that a customer-generator whose generating facility has a capacity that exceeds 10 kilowatts shall pay a monthly standby charge, provides that the State Corporation Commission is directed to conduct a proceeding to determine the reasonableness of standby charges.

Self-Generation

California and Texas enacted legislation concerning self-generation..

  • California expanded the definition of an eligible renewable generating facility to 5 megawatts under the Local Government Renewable Energy Self-Generation Program.
  • Texas enacted a bill which does not consider a customer or an owner of distributed renewable generation to be a utility if the annual amount of electricity is less or equal to the customer’s annual consumption.  

California

Local Government Renewable Energy Self-Generation

CA A 512 2011 (Chapter No. 478)

Expands the definition of an eligible renewable generating facility to include a facility with a specified generation capacity. Prohibits an electrical corporation from being required to compensate a local government for electricity generated from a facility in excess of the bill credits applied to the benefiting account. Prohibits a local government facility from being eligible for any other tariff or program that requires such corporation to purchase generation from that facility while in the program.

Texas

Electricity Generation Regulations

TX S 981 2011 (Chapter No. 1070)

Relates to the regulation of distributed generation of electricity, includes ownership rights to energy produced from distributed renewable generation located at the premises of the customer on the customer's side of the meter, provides that neither the customer or the owner of the distributed renewable generation is a utility and is not required to be registered if the annual amount of electricity is less or equal to the customer's annual consumption.

Solar Energy

Nine states enacted legislation specifically relating to solar energy.Much of this legislation was enacted in order for property owners to be able to install solar devices with less restrictions.

  • California authorized the parties to a Williamson Act to agree to rescind the contract in order to enter into a solar-use easement on the land for solar photovoltaic facilities. The Williamson Act enables local governments to enter into contracts with private landowners in order to restrict private land to agricultural or open space use, in return, land owners receive lower taxes .
  • Colorado limited fees on plan reviews for certain solar electric or solar thermal devices or systems.
  • Hawaii established a working group to study the feasibility of requiring all new single-family residential structures solar photovoltaic-ready.
  • New Jersey exempted solar panels from impervious surface or cover designation.
  • Nevada removed the requirement that each solar thermal system have a meter or measuring device installed.
  • New York eliminated the requirement that solar electric generating equipment of less than 25 kilowatts have an external disconnect switch.
  • Oregon prevented local governments from collecting land use fees for applications to install solar photovoltaic energy systems.
  • Utah established that the addition of a solar energy device to a building is not a structural alteration.
  • Virginia offered special tariffs to facilitate customer-owned distributed solar generation as alternatives to net energy metering.

California

Local Government: Solar-Use Easement

CA S 618 2011 (Chapter No. 596)

Authorizes the parties to a Williamson Act contract to mutually agree to rescind the contract to enter into a solar-use easement for solar photovoltaic facilities. Authorizes a related rescission fee. Requires local entities to include certain covenants in the deed granting an easement. Requires that the property be restored to original condition upon termination. Provides that a solar-use easement would be automatically renewed annually. Relates to the easement property tax assessment.

Colorado

Limit Government Fee Install Solar Energy Panel

CO H 1199 2011 (Chapter No. 311)

Concerns limits on fees for the approval of the installation of solar energy devices, applies such limits to plan review or other fees for certain solar electric or solar thermal devices or systems, limits local governments' review fees to their actual costs for issuing the permit or reviewing the application, requires the local government to clearly and individually identify on a certain invoice all fees and taxes assessed.

Hawaii

Photovoltaic Ready New Residential Homes

HI S 181 2011 (Act No. 198)

Relates to photovoltaic-ready new residential homes, establishes a working group to study the feasibility of requiring all new single-family residential construction to incorporate design elements and minimal equipment installation to make the structure photovoltaic-ready at the time of initial construction.

New Jersey

Solar Panels

NJ S 921 2011 (Chapter No. 2010-4)

Exempts solar panels from impervious surface or impervious cover designation.

Nevada

Renewable Energy Systems

NV S 182 2011 (Chapter No. 239)

Revises provisions of existing law governing the Solar Systems Demonstration Program to remove the requirement that each solar thermal system have a meter or other measuring device installed, revisions provisions of existing law governing the performance certificates which must be obtained to establish eligibility for a rebate for a utility under the Solar Thermal System Demonstration Program.

New York

Solar Electric Generating Equipment

NY A 5525 2011 (Chapter No. 413)

Eliminates any requirement that solar electric generating equipment of less than 25 kilowatts have an external disconnect switch, so long as such equipment complies with the interconnection standards of the Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.

Oregon

Solar Energy Generation By Retail Electricity Consumers

OR H 3516 2011 (Chapter No. 464)

Authorizes installation and use of solar photovoltaic energy system on residential or commercial structure in zones in which residential or commercial structures are authorized, requires local government reviewing permit application to make ministerial decision approving or denying permit, prevents local government from collecting land use permit application fee for application to install solar photovoltaic energy system, limits certain land use reviews of site, creates exceptions.

Utah

Municipal Land Use Amendments

UT S 178 2011 (Chapter No. 210)

Amends municipal land use provisions relating to nonconforming uses and noncomplying structures, provides that the addition of a solar energy device to a building is not a structural alteration, relates to the reconstruction or restoration of a noncomplying structure.

Virginia

Distributed Solar Generation Demonstration Programs

VA H 1686 2011 (Chapter No. 771)

Authorizes the State Corporation Commission (SCC) to approve demonstration programs for utility-owned distributed solar generation and to offer special tariffs to facilitate customer-owned distributed solar generation as alternatives to net energy metering, requires notice to all affected parties and opportunity for hearing, provides that after such installations cease to be part of a demonstration program, they shall continue to operate as tariffed utility-owned facilities or customer-owned installations.

Wind Energy

Seven states enacted legislation specifically relating to wind energy.

  • Hawaii exempted wind energy facilities from certain requirements on state agricultural or conservation lands.
  • Maine required the Governor’s Office of Energy Independence and Security to consider issues such as noise and visual standards when assessing wind energy development progress.  
  • Michigan created the Lake Michigan Offshore Wind Energy Advisory Council which will examine offshore wind energy development on Lake Michigan and its impacts on the environment.
  • Indiana specified that a wind power device does not qualify for an assessed value deduction if it is owned by a public utility.
  • South Dakota created a Wind Energy Competitive Advisory Task Force which will recommend the proper mechanisms to tax wind energy.
  • Virginia enacted 3 bills Two relate to the creation of the Offshore Wind Development Authority which will facilitate the development of the offshore wind industry. The third repeals the Mid-Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Infrastructure Development Compact which aimed to study, develop and promote coordinated research and planning of the design and construction of offshore wind energy operations.
  • Wyoming extended the moratorium associated with commercial facilities generating electricity from wind.

Hawaii

Renewable Energy

HI H 122 2011 (Act No. 201)

Relates to renewable energy, amends the repeal date of Act 173, which exempts renewable energy projects from subdivision requirements on state agricultural or conservation lands, provides that the exemption from subdivision requirements shall be for wind energy facilities, including the appurtenances associated with the production and transmission of wind-generated energy.

Illinois

Lake Michigan Offshore Wind Energy Council Act

IL H 1558 2011 (Public Act No. 266)

Creates the Lake Michigan Offshore Wind Energy Advisory Council Act, creates the Lake Michigan Offshore Wind Energy Advisory Council as a separate entity within the Department of Natural Resources, provides for the the membership of the Council, provides that the Council shall examine topics related to offshore wind energy facilities development on Lake Michigan, includes impact to wildlife, protected habitats, navigation, commercial fisheries and recreational use of Lake Michigan. 

Indiana

Wind Power Device Exemption

IN S 481 2011 (Public Law No. 46-2011)

Specifies that a wind power device does not qualify for an assessed value deduction if it is owned or operated by a public utility or another entity that provides electricity at wholesale or retail for consideration, other than a person who participates in a net metering program offered by an electric utility.

Maine

Wind Energy Development

ME H 1005 2011 (Resolve No. 2011-93)

Clarifies the expectation for the 2012 assessment of wind energy development progress, requires the Governor's Office of Energy Independence and Security to consider specified issues when assessing such progress, including issues relating to noise and visual standards, decommissioning plans, the criteria used during the permitting process to consider the visual impact of an expedited grid-scale wind energy development, and other matters, provides for an evaluation of greenhouse gas reduction estimates.

South Dakota

Wind Energy Competitive Advisory Task Force

SD S 194 2011 (Chapter No. 15)

Creates a Wind Energy Competitive Advisory Task Force and to provide for the appointment of the task force members, provides that the task force shall make recommendations as to the proper mechanisms to tax wind energy and compete with surrounding states for the construction and maintenance of wind energy installations.

Virginia

Offshore Wind Project Development Authority

VA H 389 2011 (Chapter No. 507)

Creates the Offshore Wind Development Authority to facilitate the development of the offshore wind industry and wind-powered electric energy facilities, charges the Authority with identifying barriers to the development of the offshore wind industry, collecting metocean and environmental data, upgrading port facilities to accommodate the manufacturing and assembly of project components and vessels that will support such projects, and applying for loan guarantees for such projects.

Offshore Wind Project Development Authority

VA S 577 2011 (Chapter No. 681)

Creates the Offshore Wind Project Development Authority to facilitate and support the development of wind-powered electric energy facilities located off the coast of the Commonwealth beyond the Commonwealth's three-mile jurisdictional limit, provides for the tasks of the Authority, provides for a transmission study, provides for loan guarantees and upgrading of port facilities.

Mid Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy

VA S 859 2011 (Chapter No. 305)

Repeals the Mid-Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Infrastructure Development Compact of the Code of Virginia.

Wyoming

Condemnation and Wind Electricity

WY H 230 2011 (Chapter No. 86)

Relates to condemnation, extends the moratorium on the power of condemnation for the erection, placement or expansion of collector systems associated with commercial facilities generating electricity from wind.

Renewable Energy - General

  • Maine enacted a bill that aims to reduce energy prices for consumers by stating that investor-owned utilities only enter into contracts as agents for their customers.
  • Montana enacted 2 bills that revise their state energy policy and focus on the promotion of alternative energy.
  • Nevada eliminated the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Authority and the position of Energy Commissioner.
  • Oregon assigned ownership of certain renewable energy certificates to the owner of the facility generating the renewable energy.
  • Rhode Island enacted a bill that creates a board to develop and recommend a strategic renewable energy plan for the state and also enacted another bill which facilitates and promotes installation of grid-connected generation of renewable energy.
  • Virginia stated that an electric cooperative is deemed to offer an approved tariff for electric energy that is 100 percent from renewable resources.
  • Vermont enacted a bill titled, “Energy Act of 2011” which is a comprehensive state energy bill focusing on renewable energy. 

Maine

Energy Price Reduction

ME S 501 2011 (Public Law No. 2011-413)

Reduces energy prices for consumers, provides that investor-owned electrical transmission and distribution utilities may enter into contracts only as agents for their customers, relates to a waiver of an exemption for sale of electricity to a Pine Tree Development Zone business, authorizes transmission and distribution utilities to enter into long-term contracts, provides for the Energy Efficiency Capacity Contract Account, provides for application to long-term contracts for offshore wind and tidal energy.

Montana

State Energy Policy

MT S 65 2011 (Chapter No. 43)

Modifies the process for revising the state energy policy, provides that the Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee may determine whether or not a review is necessary and shall discuss issues to be included in a revised policy, removes requirements relating to coal-fired generation, rebuilding electric transmission lines, state land use, energy efficiency standards for new construction, and promotion of alternative energy, including wind energy.

Energy Policy

MT S 305 2011 (Chapter No. 385)

Revises energy policy, amends state energy policy goal statements relating to alternative energy and utilities, provides for, among other things, coal energy, oil and gas exploration, biomass, transmission lines, wind energy and energy management.

Nevada

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

NV S 426 2011 (Chapter No. 363)

Eliminates the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Authority and the position of Energy Commissioner, transfers authority for the program to track the use of energy in State agency buildings, revises provisions governing certain contracts under the program, revises provisions relating to the partial abatement of certain taxes for qualified energy systems that are used to heat or cool buildings or the water used by such buildings or to provide electricity to certain buildings or irrigation systems.

Oregon

Ownership of Renewable Energy Certificates

OR H 3571 2011 (Chapter No. 248)

Assigns ownership of certain renewable energy certificates to the owner of the facility generating the renewable energy resulting in the certificate.

Rhode Island

Renewable Energy Implementation Plan

RI S 722 2011 (Public Law No. 2011-222)

Creates the Renewable Energy Coordinating Board to develop and recommend a strategic renewable energy implementation plan for the State, provides that the Board shall, as a result of the plan, adopt and amend as necessary the renewable energy facility siting standards and guidelines.

Public Utilities and Carriers

RI S 723 2011 (Public Law No. 2011-143)/RI H 6104 (Public Law No. 2011-129)

Facilitates and promotes installation of grid-connected generation of renewable energy, supports development of distributed renewable energy generation systems, reduces environmental impacts, reduces carbon emissions that contribute to climate change by encouraging the local siting of renewable energy projects, diversifies the state's energy generation sources, stimulates economic development, improves distribution system resilience and reliability, reduces distribution system costs.

Renewable Energy Coordinating Board

RI H 5938 2011 (Public Law No. 2011-306)

Creates the Renewable Energy Coordinating Board which would develop and recommend a strategic renewable energy implementation plan for Rhode Island, requires the board to provide a forum for discussion of issues relating to renewable energy development, receive testimony from the public and interest groups, and make available to the public all information about activities of the board.

Virginia

Electric Cooperatives

VA H 92 2011 (Chapter No. 397)

Provides that an electric cooperative is deemed to offer an approved tariff for electric energy provided 100 percent from renewable energy if it bundles electricity with a renewable energy certificate that is a tradable commodity issued by a regional transmission entity that validates the generation, permits electric utility customers to continue purchasing renewable energy pursuant to the terms of a power purchase agreement pursuant to the cooperative files tariff for the incumbent electric utility.

Vermont

Energy Act of 2011

VT H 56 2011 (Act No. 47)

Relates to the Sustainably Priced Energy Enterprise Development program, renewable portfolios, small power production facilities, retail electricity rates, grid parity support charges, the Renewable Energy Investment Vermont program to allow customer charges for the costs of new renewable energy plants, net metering, energy efficiency utilities, home weatherization assistance, sulfur content of heating oil, biodiesel fuel excise tax, biomass equipment sales tax exemptions and solar energy tax credits.

Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2011

 

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