What's Going on in Oregon?
See the "Feed-in Tariff" page
for rates and additional details.
Though in their closing comments
, PUC staff recommended a 10% rate reduction for Rate Classes 1, 2 and 3, and a greater reduction for Rate Class 4 served by Pacific Power and Idaho Power, the PUC ordered a 20% reduction across all rate classes.
In addition, a subsequent order clarifies the implementation process including the shift to a lottery system for small-scale projects and a 50-50 split between lottery and competitive bid for medium-scale projects.
Effective June 19, 2012 - The Oregon Department of Energy published permanent rules for the Conservation Tax Credit Program which includes solar thermal.
for the rules.
Effective June 19, 2102 - ODOE also published permanent rules for both compliance activities and pass-through transactions for the incentive programs established in House Bill 3672 (2011) and amended by House Bill 4079 (2012).
Here is a link
to the those rules.
Impact of 2011 Legislative Session on BETC / RETC Programs
OSEIA and a diverse coalition of stakeholders managed to retain public incentives for manufacturing (administration of which moved to the Oregon Business Development Department), residential PV, and solar thermal - both residential and commercial. Putting it into perspective, this is a tremendously successful outcome. In light of Oregon's estimated $3.5B revenue shortfall, many tax credit programs were not renewed as general fund dollars were targeted toward schools, human services, and public safety.
However, this was a small success compared to the Tax Credits committee's decision to sacrifice commercial and utility-scale renewable energy projects. With a cap of $1.5 million
in tax credits per year, non-residential projects will receive one percent
of what was previously budgeted for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2011. As such, the maximum award is $250k per project which will allow what little there is to distributed to a greater number of projects.
Another major shift in the program is the administration of the tax credit. The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) will work with the Department of Revenue to pre-sell tax credits up to the maximum annual amount; then from the funds generated, ODOE will issue one-time grant awards to eligible projects.
For more information on ODOE's Energy Incentive programs, click here
ODOE issued RETC permanent rules effective January 1, 2012.
The major change to the RETC is the elimination of tax credits for appliances, air conditioners, boilers, and furnaces below 95% efficiency. In addition, third-party solar installations, i.e. systems owned by an entity other than the user of the electricity, are capped at $10 million per year in tax credits and must receive a pre-certification prior to installation. Up to 25 projects can be applied for as a "bundled" package for pre-certification.
City of Portland Land Use Review
On August 31, 2011, the Portland City Council voted to revise some of the zoning regulations for rooftop solar energy systems. These changes bring Portland into alignment with Oregon House Bill 3516, adopted a few months ago.
The changes took effect September 2, 2011. In both Conservation Districts and Design Overlay Zones, solar energy systems are now allowed without a land use review if:
1) the footprint of the structure isn't enlarged,
2) the peak height of the roof is not increased, and
3) the system is parallel to the slope of the roof.
If the proposal does not meet these standards, the proposal may be approved through Design Review/Historic Design Review.
The regulations have not changed for Historic and Conservation Landmarks, and for sites in Historic Districts.
It is easy to determine whether a property is in a Historic or Conservation district, or whether it is a Historic Landmark or Conservation Landmark:
- Open the Web site www.portlandmaps.com and enter a Portland address.
- Under the “maps” tab, all applicable zoning designations are viewable, and properties that are in either Historic or Conservation Districts will be denoted.
- Additionally, maps of each of each district including specific property addresses can be found here.
Solar Installation Specialty Code Effective Oct. 1, 2010