SMUD Maxes Out FIT Program in One Week

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s (SMUD) announced that it took only a week to receive enough applications to exceed the 100 megawatt capacity limit for its new feed-in tariff (FIT) program for renewables and co-generation. 

applications received were for solar photovoltaic technology.

“We are very pleased with the interest and heartened by the possibility of bringing another 100
megawatts of clean electricity to the area,” said SMUD AGM of Energy Supply Jim Shetler.

The program is designed to remove barriers to interconnection with the utility by providing
standard rates and contract conditions thus making it easier for SMUD and its power-generating
customers to do business.

The day after applications were received, SMUD posted a queue of accepted applications
including location and size information on the utility Web site and updated the queue as additional
applications were accepted.

In September 2009, the SMUD Board of Directors approved a FIT for the purchase by SMUD
of energy from eligible renewable energy resources and combined heat and power installations.
Under a feed-in tariff, a utility offers standard published rates and standard contract terms for
generation that qualifies under the feed-in tariff criteria.

When the FIT was first announced, Paul Gipe, who has been closely covering the development of FITs in California and elsewhere, questioned the structuring of the program. He explained that the program, while appearing quite bold on the surface, is not based on the costs of generating the renewable power.

Instead, payments are split into 216 rates based on the value of the energy to SMUD at different seasons, different times of the day, different contract lengths and other factors. 

SMUD is the nation’s sixth largest publicly owned utility and a recognized industry leader.

In Related News…

The California Public Utilities Commission said on Thursday it has established an incentive to promote the installation of solar water heating systems in new and existing homes and businesses. Incentives go as high as $1,500 per system.

Read Reuters coverage at the link below.

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