Washington State Sets New Performance Incentive for 2009

By Paul Gipe


Washington State passed SB 6170 in May, 2009 changing the state’s novel production incentive by raising the so-called “base rate” and by including a new category of “community solar”.


SB 6170 doubled the base rate from $0.15/kWh to $0.30/kWh. The “multipliers” used in the Washington State system act on this new base rate.

Certain limitations apply to the new incentives.

No more than $5,000 will be paid per year per participant, Progrm cap for the utility tax credit of one percent of utility sales, or $100,000, 25 percent of project allocations are set aside for community solar.

The new legislation defines community solar as “solar energy systems owned by local entities and placed on local government property.”

Those restrictions aside, the new multipliers allow for a total $1.08/kWh for projects that qualify as manufactured in Washington State.

Coupled with the existing retail rate, users of small renewable energy systems could receive as much as $1.15 in value for solar PV, and as much as $0.74 for small wind systems.

Net metering is limited to 25 kW in Washington State.

Incentive payments will be made through 2020, effectively a term of 11 years for projects installed in 2009.

DSIRE Washington State (Summary Information)