From Germany to Gainesville: Practical Guidelines for Implementing a Solar Feed-In Tariff

Venue: Virtual

Location: Your city, United States

Event Date/Time: Jun 18, 2009
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Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) is on the front lines of development and implementation of solar feed-in tariffs (FITs) in the United States.

In this web conference, GRU’s John Crider will answer questions such as:

• What is the Gainesville approach?
• How did they arrive at that approach?
• What’s worked well? What hasn’t worked well?
• What are they learning so far?

On February 5th, the Gainesville City Commission approved a feed-in tariff for solar PV that offers a 20 year fixed price contract of 32 cents per kWh (for the first two years of the program) for electricity generated by local solar PV systems. The feed-in tariff is capped at 4 MW per year. The municipal utility—Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU)—has already signed up nearly 100 customers to fulfill the annual 4 MW cap for the next three years.

Despite being hailed by some as the first renewable energy feed-in tariff in the U.S., the program is not without detractors—even among those who generally support feed-in tariff policies. This web conference will address some of their concerns, including those recently voiced by Rhone Resch, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), at last month’s PV Industry Forum in Munich. Resch commented that the Gainesville program “was poorly designed,” with the evaluation of applications lacking the necessary rigor to determine projects’ feasibility. He foresees projects not getting built “until the bigger companies really start to take a role in this particular program.”

John Crider will discuss GRU’s experience with the solar FIT to-date and how that experience can inform policy that is under consideration in other states, such as California.