The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission has put two popular renewable energy incentive program on hold until September because of surging demand, New Hampshire Public Radio reported.
The commission put both the Commercial and Industrial Solar Rebate Program and the Residential Solar and Wind Rebate Program on hold until a new budget can be confirmed.
The C&I program has a waitlist valued at $1 million while the residential program has a $500,000 waitlist. The budget for both program in fiscal 2017 was about $2.4 million and was fully reserved as of May 23.
Renewable incentives may be popular in New Hampshire, but the state is experiencing growing pains when it comes to renewable policies.
After more than a year of wrangling between solar interests and utilities, the PUC approved in June a new net metering tariff that calls for a monthly credits for small solar customers equal to 100% of the value of energy and transmission service and 25% of distribution service for excess generation pumped back to the grid. The new rates are temporary and will likely be updated after a planned study provides a formula for the value of distributed resources.
But net metering rates for systems installed or put into the utility interconnection queue while the study is being conducted will be grandfathered until Dec. 31, 2040. It's unclear if the flood of applications last year was an attempt to nail down the full net metering rates during the regulatory uncertainty.
New Hampshire's residential solar and wind credit offers rebates for 10 kw renewable energy facilities for 30% of the system's total cost. And the C&I rebate offers between $0.65/watt to $0.70/watt for solar and solar thermal systems below or equal to 100 kw. Systems above 100 kw and below or equal to 500 kw net a rebate of $0.55/watt.
The PUC received more than 1,300 applications for the residential rebates last year. PUC stuff says unaudited revenues for payments into the incentive fund for fiscal 2018 are $3.6 million, which is lower than the $4.9 million last year.