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Glossary of Solar Energy Terms

Choose a State to Explore Solar Energy Incentives

US Solar Energy Incentives Map


Visit DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency) for information on incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.

DSIRE Solar is a comprehensize source of information on state, federal and local incentives and policies promoting the adoption of solar technologies.


U.S. Financial Incentives, Rules, Regulations and Policies
Covers corporate incentives, solar loan and grant programs, personal exemptions and credits, as well as energy standards and federal green power goals.


Alabama Solar Association



Arizona Solar Energy Association
The Arizona Solar Energy Association (ASEA), was founded in the mid-70's as a state chapter of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), the largest solar energy organization in theUnited States. ASEA's mission is to educate the people of Arizona about solar energy, its applications, and the benefits of utilizing solar technologies.

The Governor recently signed three solar-related bills.  House Bill 2332 will allow school districts greater flexibility in making renewable energy part of buying power, while HB 2336 will give cities and counties authority to create special incentives and taxing districts (like Berkeley-style financing). Senate Bill 1403 will provide incentives for solar manufacturers to locate in Arizona. The ACC is holding an adjudication procedural conference to decide if Solar Service Agreements (PPAs) are subject to regulation as Public Service Corporations. At the beginning of June, Salt River Project (SRP) reduced solar rebate to $2.70/watt residential, $2.25/watt commercial (see DSIRE record).



California Energy Commission
Up to date information on California's solar initiatives.

California Rebate Tracker
Detail on the level of rebate each of the California utilities offer.

California Solar Energy Site
Key California government website, dedicated to solar policy, incentives and rebates.

Northern California Solar Energy Association (NorCal Solar)

The CPUC approved the 500 MW Southern California Edison (SCE) solar program (see article). A bill to expand the cap on net-metering peak load from 2.5% to 5% passed the Assembly and now moves to the Senate (AB 560). The Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD) will begin offering a feed-in tariff in January 2010.  Customer-sited distributed generation systems up to 5 MW are eligible, with a total program cap of 100 MW (see article).  In June, California's Attorney General argued that feed-in tariffs as proposed in California are not only permitted under federal law but should be used to encourage the rapid growth of renewable energy. City of Palm Desert’s Energy Independence Program fully allocated $2.5 million within the first several hours of the third round of funding.  Half of the funds have been committed to solar installations and the other half committed to energy efficiency improvements.  


Colorado Renewable Energy Society

The Governor’s Office has indicated that they will make an announcement sometime in August or September. Effective September 1, 2009, customers may make a one-time election to roll over excess kilowatt-hour credits indefinitely and the individual system capacity limit was changed from 2 MW to 120% of the annual consumption of the site.  These net-metering changes were part of SB 51. Xcel is proposing a “backup power” fee on residential PV systems.  Xcel estimates that for an average Boulder home with a 4.5 kW solar system, the annual charge would be about $23 (see article in Denver Post).  The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will hold a public hearing on Xcel’s fee proposal next week. To get involved, see the COSEIA  website for more information.


Northeast Sustainable Energy Association


Northeast Sustainable Energy Association

Senate Bill 85 improved statewide net-metering. The bill extends net-metering to farm service customers for systems up to 100 kW; removes a provision requiring annual forfeiture of net excess generation; grants customer-generators ownership of all renewable energy credits (RECs); and increases the aggregate capacity cap of all net-metered systems from 1% to 5% of a utility's peak load.


Florida Renewable Energy Association

Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy (FARE)
A progressive organization promoting "Feed In Tariffs" and "Renewable Energy Dividends" to promote rapid adoption of solar and renewable energy, with Gainsville as a recent success story.

Progress Energy announced a $1.50-2.00/watt rebate for residential systems and also committed to offering a production incentive for commercial systems. Their goal is to install 1 MW of residential systems per year for 10 years, and 5 MW of commercial systems per year for 10 years. The Solar Alliance is encouraging FPL to offer a similar program through a proceeding at the PSC.
An additional $5 million from Recovery Act funding has been committed to the state rebate program, with a possible $9.4 million more to come (see DSIRE record).


Georgia Solar Energy


The Governor recently signed Senate Bill 464, which makes the state renewable energy credit refundable for taxpayers who agree to accept a lower credit of 24.5%.  HB 1464, also signed by the Governor, increases the RPS to 25% by 2020 and 40% by 2030 (see DSIRE record).



Illinois Solar Energy Association

Midwest Renewable Energy Association

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's (ILDCEO) Office of Energy and Recycling has issued the Applications for the Renewable Energy Production Program and Community Renewable Energy Program. Click here for Information and applications for these two programs. The applications are due October 26, 2009. For further information, contact Wayne Hartel at the ILDCEO at 217/785-3420 or wayne dot hartel at

For any ComEd customers who are looking for information on net metering, contact:

For Interconnect, e-mail:

Illinois State Incentives, please contact:
DCEO - Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
(search for solar rebates to check on information with state incentives)
Contact Wayne Hartel at 217-785-3420


Midwest Renewable Energy Association


Midwest Renewable Energy Association


Heartland Renewable Energy Society




Northeast Sustainable Energy Association

Legislation (L.D. 220) enacted in May 2009 directs the Maine Public Utilities Commission to use Recovery Act funding to increase the state rebate program budget by $500,000 per year for fiscal years 2009-10 and 2010-11.


Potomac Region Solar Energy Association


Northeast Sustainable Energy Association

Massachusetts will use $20 million in stimulus funds to install large solar PV systems on state and municipal sites.  Click here for more information.


Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association
Midwest Renewable Energy Association


Midwest Renewable Energy Association

Minnesota's solar rebate program now offers incentives of $1.75/watt (or $2.00/watt if the installer is NABCEP-certified). Incentives are only available for residential applications up to 5 kW and small business applications up to 10 kW, although larger systems may be funded up to these limits.  2009 program budget is $400,000, plus $2.75 million expected from Recovery Act funds.

Minnesota Office of Energy Security - Minnesota Solar Incentives & Installation Resources


Mississippi Solar Energy Society -


Heartland Renewable Energy Society




Solar NV
Sunrise Sustainable Resources Group

SB 358 was recently signed by the Governor.  The bill expands the RPS to 25% by 2025, increases the solar carve out to 6% starting in 2016, adds incentives for 2 MW on schools, and allows Berkeley-style financing.

New Hampshire

Northeast Sustainable Energy Association

New Jersey

Northeast Sustainable Energy Association

PSE&G has received approval from the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to invest $515 million in 80 MW of solar projects, doubling the state's solar capacity. Called Solar 4 All, the program has two segments, each 40 MW in size. The first segment consists of installing solar on 200,000 utility poles in PSE&G's service territory, and the second segment will focus on centralized solar, with PSE&G developing solar installations on facilities it owns and at third-party sites. A website is now available for the SREC-Based Financing Program offered by Atlantic City Electric Company (ACE) and Jersey Central Power & Light Company (JCP&L).  The RFP is scheduled to be released during the week of July 27, 2009.

New Mexico

New Mexico Solar Energy Association

SB 237 extended the 6% corporate tax credit to large-scale installations with a minimum capacity of 1 MW and a maximum credit of $60 million (see DSIRE record). Another bill expanded the state tax credit for homeowners and small businesses to 10% with a maximum of $9,000 per project, allowing a combined state and federal tax credit of 40%. For small and medium systems, Xcel Energy now offers a production incentive at a rate of $0.20/kWh generated on systems installed after February 9, 2009, and $0.10/kWh on existing systems. Xcel Energy also will pay credits on larger systems at a price determined through a RFP process (see DSIRE record).

New York

Northeast Sustainable Energy Association

New York's solar incentive program has received supplemental funding of $15 million in order to continue operations through 2009. The addition increases the total 2008-2009 program budget to roughly $75 million (see DSIRE record). NYSERDA will partner with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) to install 50 MW of solar with support from $27 million in Recovery Act funds.

North Carolina

North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association

North Dakota


Green Energy Ohio


Solar Energy Association of Oregon



Northeast Sustainable Energy Association

The Solar Alliance is supporting the passage of House Bill 80, which would increase the solar carve-out in the RPS from .5 to 3% in 2026 and give the PUC authority to set an ACP. The Governor recently approved a 15% tax credit for solar projects and $23 million in grants and loans to fund eight solar projects. You can track the progress of the PA Sunshine Rebate Program here.

Rhode Island

Northeast Sustainable Energy Association

The Governor recently signed a bill that will retroactively change net-metering laws. The customer now can have the net excess generation (NEG) credited to the customer’s next billing period at a rate that is slightly less than the utility’s retail rate; or receive compensation in the form of a monthly check for NEG.  

South Carolina

South Carolina Solar Council

Net-metering has been expanded to 20 kW for residential, 100 kW for commercial and applies to all investor-owned utilities including Duke Energy, Progress Energy and South Carolina Electric and Gas. Net excess generation (NEG) is credited to the customer's next bill at the utility's retail rate, and then surrendered to the utility annually at the beginning of each summer season (see DSIRE record).

South Dakota


Tennessee Solar Energy Association

Tennessee has committed Recovery Act funding to building the West Tennessee Solar Farm, a five-megawatt, 15-acre power generation facility at the 1,720-acre Haywood County industrial site. The State of Tennessee now offers a 40% grant on the cost of a commercial solar system, up to $75,000 per system.  Total program budget is $3.75 million (see DSIRE record).


Texas Solar Energy Association

Although our solar bills failed in the state legislature, the solar industry is involved in a regulatory proceeding at the PUC that would effectively implement the 500 MW non-wind RPS. CPS in San Antonio restarted the rebate program at $3.00/watt and expanded maximum rebate to $30,000 for residential, $100,000 commercial (see DSIRE record).



Northeast Sustainable Energy Association

A bill to create a Feed-in tariff program was signed by the Governor. The program includes 50 MW cap, project size cap of 2.2 MW, and contract of 20 years at $0.30/kWh (see article).


Potomac Region Solar Energy Association


Solar Washington

Washington State now offers a production incentive ranging from $0.12 to $0.54 per kWh depending on where the products are manufactured, with a maximum incentive of $5,000 per year. Participants in community solar projects can receive an incentive ranging from $0.30 to $1.08 per kWh, with a max incentive of $5,000 per year (see DSIRE record).

Washington DC

Potomac Region Solar Energy Association

West Virginia


Midwest Renewable Energy Association



Please let us know if we've missed a state or federal resource that you're aware of, you can reach us at or by posting a forum message in our Solar Community.

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