RI: Feed-in tariff re-launched


National Grid has unveiled the third and final round of funding in 2014 under the Distributed Generation Standard Contracts program. For this funding round, National Grid has raised the target aggregate nameplate capacity for medium solar PV systems (201 kW-DC to 500 kW-DC) from 1,400 MW to 1,500 MW. Ceiling prices vary by system type, size and tax credit usage. For PV, the range is $0.2225/kWh to $0.271/kWh. For wind energy, the range is $0.1555/kWh to $0.2055/kWh. The third funding round of 2014 opened on October 27, 2014. It will close on November 7, 2014.

The Distributed Generation Standard Contracts program will change significantly in 2015, due to legislation enacted by Rhode Island in June 2014 (S.B. 2690) that vastly expanded the program, while renaming it the Renewable Energy Growth Program. S.B. 2690 extended the program for five years; raised the aggregate program capacity from 40 MW to 200 MW; converted the 15-year standard contract approach to a 15- to 20-year tariff (except for smaller solar) involving a competitive process (except for smaller solar) with three annual enrollment windows and ceiling prices for projects up to 5 MW; created four eligible classes of solar projects and a minimum annual carve-out for smaller solar; allowed the imposition energy-efficiency requirements at facilities seeking funds for smaller solar; allowed owners (with the exception of residential small-scale solar) to choose between a pure performance-based incentive or net metering plus a reduced performance-based incentive; removed existing aggregate capacity limit for net-metered systems for National Grid customers; and directed the PUC to consider rate design and distribution cost allocation in light of expanded net metering and distributed generation, and the changing distribution system.