Renewable Energy Growth Program
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|Program Name||Renewable Energy Growth Program|
|Program Administrator||National Grid|
|Sector||Agricultural, Commercial, Federal Government, Industrial, Institutional, Local Government, Low Income Residential, Multifamily Residential, Nonprofit, Residential, Schools, State Government|
|End date||December 31st, 2029|
|Last updated||July 13th, 2017|
NOTE: S.B. 112A enacted in June 2017 extended the program to the end of 2029, and increased the annual target to 40 MW per year with a total cumulative procurement of 400 MW of renewable energy between 2020 and 2029.
In 2014, Act H 7727 created the Renewable Energy Growth (REG) program with the goal to promote installation of grid connected renewable energy within the load zones of electric distribution companies (EDCs) at a reasonable cost. This tariff-based incentive program is designed to finance the development, construction, and operation of renewable energy distributed generation projects through competitive bidding processes over 5 years to achieve specific megawatt (MW) targets. This program is implemented by the EDCs under supervision and review of the Public Utility Commission (PUC).
For the period of at least 5 years, the EDCs shall file tariffs with the PUC that are designed to provide multi year performance based incentives to eligible renewable distributed generation projects. Tariffs shall be developed by the EDCs and will be reviewed and approved by the PUC. Proposed tariffs shall include a ceiling price and term lengths that shall be from 15 to 20 years. After being approved by the PUC, the terms under the tariffs shall not be altered in any way that would undermine the reliance of those tariffs.
Small-scale Solar Program provides incentives for systems up to 25 KW and are designed for residential and small business owners. Applicants can enroll via the interconnection application to receive a standard performance based incentive for the period of years in an applicable tariff. The incentives depend on the size and ownership of the system, and the duration of the contract term. The incentives will be provided on a first come, first served basis until the program reaches its target of 5.5 MW capacity.
The RI Public Utility Commission has approved the solar incentive for National Grid for 2016. The program will begin accepting applications starting April 1st, 2016. Incentive amounts are listed in the table below
Commercial scale solar projects and all other eligible technologies program: The program is directed towards non-residential customers who are interested in installing qualifying distributed generation project in their facility. Eligible technologies include Solar PV, wind, anaerobic digestion, and small-scale hydropower. To participate in the program interested applicants must submit a bid a price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the entire output of the facility, which shall not exceed the ceiling price. Any participant that is purchasing electricity on other than the residential retail rate are eligible to apply for the program. The EDC will select projects based on the lowest proposed prices, time of completion of the project until the target capacity of that class is met. In order incentivize renewable distributed generation projects, the EDC may include an incentive payment adder to the bid price of any winning bidder that propose a distributed generation project in a desired geographical load area. The 2016 the enrollment period starts on April 18, 2016 until April 29, 2016.
The REG program shall be administered exclusively through the tariff structure and the EDC is not required to execute a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the procurement of the renewable energy for the program. Incentives for eligible solar, wind, hydro, and anaerobic digester projects is provided in the table below:
Bonus incentives from SolarWise Program: Beginning from 2016, the Renewable Growth Program includes SolarWise program which provides additional incentives to customers who choose to install solar PV systems in conjunction with making significant investments in energy efficiency in their homes or businesses. Applications for the program must be received and approved before the end of program year on March 31, 2017 to be eligible for 2016 awards.
The SolarWise program combines the National Grid’s Energy Efficiency program with the Renewable Energy Growth program. Interested participants may request for a solar PV screening at no cost as a part of the National Grid’s Energy Efficiency assessment. The Energy Efficiency assessment will identify list of potential energy savings, solar PV screening, and access to the online SolarWise Marketplace- the applicant can request and compare offers from independent solar installation companies.
Solar PV systems must be sized such that the maximum annual (kWh) output is not greater than the 3 year historic annual average electric (kWh) usage at the customer’s location minus the estimated annual energy savings (kWh) from the energy efficiency measure.
For Example: If a residential customer used an average of 10,000 kWh per year for the last three years, and it implemented 2,000 kWh of projected energy efficiency savings, then the solar PV system must be sized to produce no more than (10,000 – 2,000= 8,000 kWh) of energy in a year.
The incentives for the SolarWise projects are classified into Tiers based on the additional energy savings. Each Tier receive additional percentage increase in the performance based component of the RE Growth Program Incentive. The award criteria for each of the Tiers is provided in the table below:
H.B. 8534 enacted on July 2016 added a virtual net metering Shared Solar Facilities program as the part of the Renewable Energy Growth program. The program seeks to facilitate solar adoption in multifamily, campuses, multi-structure, business parks, multi-tenant, multi-owner commercial facilities, and public entities with multiple accounts. The program will be available for adoption after the RI Public Utilties Commission approves the program tariff submitted by the utility.
Please visit the program webpage for additional information.
|Incentive Amount||Incentives will vary depending on the type of resource, the size of the system, and the geographic load zone area of the installation.|
Solar is grouped into four categories based on size:
Small scale solar projects: up to 25kW
Medium scale solar projects: 25kW to 250 kW
Commercial scale solar projects: 250 kW to 1 MW
Large scale solar projects: 1 MW to 5 MW
Wind is grouped into two categories based on size:
Medium: 1.5 MW- 3 MW
Large: 3 MW- 5 MW
Medium: 150 kW- 500 kW
Large: 501 kW- 1,000 kW
Small Scale Hydropower
Small: 10kW - 250 kW
Medium: 251 kW- 1,000 kW
|Maximum Incentive||Varies with system size, technology and geographic load zone.|
|Terms||Depending on the type and size of project, The term lengths will be from 15 to 20 years. However, the board may recommend shorter terms for small scale solar projects.|
|Eligible System Size||Maximum nameplate capacity of 5 MW.|
|Equipment Requirements||Projects must be new and not under construction at the time of application, with the exception of preparatory site work that is less than 25% of the total project cost.|
|Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits||Except for small scale Residential projects, the environmental and other attributes of the Distributed Generation projects are transferred to the Electric Distribution Company.|