Incentives Watch: New Hampshire First to Add Thermal Energy to Renewable Portfolio Standard

All “thermal” eyes were focused on New Hampshire this week, as it became the first state to add thermal energy to its electric renewable portfolio standard.

An electric renewable portfolio standard (RPS) is a requirement that each electricity provider meet its customer load by purchasing or acquiring certificates, representing generation from renewable energy, based on total megawatt-hours supplied.

“New Hampshire is the first state to fully incorporate renewable thermal energy into its RPS program, and grant incentives to biomass, solar and geothermal project developers . . . equivalent in value to those for developers of renewable electricity projects,” according to a news release from the Biomass Thermal Energy Council.

Senate Bill 218, which became effective June 19, adds “useful thermal energy” sources to the definition of renewable energy source, making thermal energy sources such as wood pellet boilers and solar hot water arrays, eligible for renewable energy certificates. Previously, only certain classes of electricity could receive certification.

“Useful thermal energy” means renewable energy that is delivered in New Hampshire for an end use in the form of direct heat, steam, hot water, or other thermal form that is used for heating, cooling, humidity control, process use, or other thermal end use energy requirements for which fuel or electricity would otherwise be consumed.

“Examples of projects that will qualify are wood or wood pellet boilers heating commercial or institutional buildings, solar hot water arrays on hospital rooftops, or geothermal heating and cooling systems for nursing homes or correctional facilities,” according to the news release.

Thermal energy projects may qualify for incentives under the program after Jan. 1, 2013.

In other developments . . .

Alaska recently established a new markets tax credit assistance program, according to a recent Bloomberg BNA Weekly State Tax Reportarticle. The program, which will be administered by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, provides loans for entities seeking to take advantage of the federal new markets tax credit program.


By: Kathleen Caggiano

Follow us on Twitter at: @SALTax
Join Bloomberg BNA's State Tax Group on