On Earth Day the Vermont House of Representatives passed House Bill 446, the Vermont Energy Act of 2009. The bill includes changes to Vermont’s Sustainably Priced Energy Enterprise Development Program (SPEED) that would implement a pilot feed-in tariff policy.
The proposed standard contract program is modest even by North American standards. There is a severe restriction on the extent of the program.
Nevertheless, this is the first bill proposing a system of feed-in tariffs that has both been reported out of committee and passed one chamber of a bi-cameral legislature in the United States.
Here are several key elements of H. 446 as passed by the House.
- Program cap of 50 MW
- Project size cap of 2.2 MW
- Contract term: 20 years
- Wind energy tariffs
- <15 kW: $0.20/kWh
- >15 kW: $0.14/kWh
- Landfill and biogas tariff of $0.12/kWh
- Solar tariff of $0.30/kWh
- Future tariffs based on cost of generation plus profit less applicable tax credits and other incentives
- Profit set at rate of return of Vermont electric utilities
- Open a regulatory examination of the tariffs by September 15, 2009 and new rates set in January, 2010
The bill was assigned to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy April 28, 2009 and passed the committee April 29. The bill now moves to the Senate Finance Committee.