Monday, June 14, 2010

Renewable Energy News, June 14, 2010

CleanTechLaw:  New law establishes nation's first statewide PACE program
Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter signed House Bill 1328, known as the New Energy Jobs Creation Act, along with a number of other clean energy bills, at a ceremony in Denver Friday afternoon.

The jobs bill sets up the nation's first statewide Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) district, called the Colorado New Energy Improvement District. It will offer clean energy financing to homeowners throughout Colorado by allowing them to add a special assessment to their property taxes to pay off the cost of the improvements over time.
Europe’s New Wind Power Rivals Gas - Green Blog -
The amount of power generated by new wind turbines in the European Union this year will be about the same as the amount from new gas plants, according to the European Wind Energy Association, an industry group.

The European Union’s energy commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, and the chief executive of the European Wind Energy Association, Christian Kjaer,with the wind turbine in the Schuman roundabout in Brussels.
European Pressphoto Agency The European Union’s energy commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, and the chief executive of the European Wind Energy Association, Christian Kjaer,with a wind turbine in Brussels.

“It is too early to say whether, for a third year running, there will be more wind energy capacity installed than any other electricity generating technology, but it is clear that wind energy will be competing for the top spot with new gas power plants,” Christian Kjaer, the chief executive of the wind association, said on Monday.
N.C. House passes renewable-energy bill - Charlotte Business Journal
A bill to create a 25 percent tax credit for the construction of facilities used to manufacture renewable energy has cleared the N.C. House. It now heads to the state Senate’s finance committee.

The credit, to be taken against state income or business franchise taxes, applies to the construction of a variety of renewable-energy projects, including biomass, hydro-generation, solar, wind and geothermal heat pumps.
Ohio Assembly passes renewable energy tax reform bill |
Ohio is close to reforming its property tax laws to dramatically cut the costs of developing renewable energy projects in the state.

A vote by the state’s House of Representatives late Thursday – and a final clearance from the Senate – passed a bill that is now expected to become law before the summer recess.

Governor Ted Strickland pledged on Friday that he would sign Sub Senate Bill 232 the moment it hits his desk.

The new law will mean that renewable energy projects are no longer taxed as just another form of private property.
Solar industry challenges Georgia Power |
Three years ago, when Congress tried to set national standards for the power industry’s use of things like solar energy, Atlanta-based Southern Co. fought back with singular ferocity.

The costs would be “exorbitant,” a Southern Co. spokesman said at the time.

“Renewable energy sources like wind and solar are not really an option for us in the Southeast,” the spokesman said.

This spring, the state’s small but growing solar industry offered up a full-throated rebuttal to the Southern Co.’s longtime mantra, blasting it and its Georgia Power utility for misleading Georgia and national policymakers about the feasibility of solar energy in the Southeast.

“We directly challenge for the first time the accuracy of the company’s information about the viability of solar power as a renewable energy source in Georgia,” James Marlow and Lee Peterson said on behalf of the Georgia Solar Energy Association in first-time testimony at the state Public Service Commission.

Local Vermont & Regional News:

Georgia wind project wins Vermont approval | The Burlington Free Press
GEORGIA — Developers of a three- to five-turbine commercial-scale wind project in Georgia — the first of its kind in Chittenden County — today received a certificate of public good from the Vermont Public Service Board.

The board’s 94-page order states that the project’s potential to generate up to 12MW of power, and its relatively benign impact on natural resources, outweigh its critics’ claims that it will diminish the value of their viewshed and property values.

Advocates for the project note that the proximity of the proposed power source to a concentration of consumers in northwest Vermont will reduce transmission costs of electricity in the region.
New Haven tract on Route 7 eyed for major solar farm | Addison County Independent
NEW HAVEN — A team of Winooski-based engineers is proposing to build one of the state’s largest solar farms on a 40-acre portion of a 180-acre parcel on the west side of Route 7, across from the Hill Top RV Center in New Haven.

The proposed project, on land owned by Albert and Gail Freyer, would feature 178 ground-mounted solar trackers with photovoltaic panels capable of harvesting enough energy to power 500 homes annually. It would also include an organic farm operation calling for sheep and goats to graze near the high-tech equipment.
East Coast Governors Join Forces for Clean, Renewable Energy from Wind : CleanTechnica
From red state to blue, ten governors of states bordering the East Coast of the U.S. have joined forces to endorse the development of wind energy farms on the Outer Continental Shelf. The list includes Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Virgina.

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