|Incentive Type:||Public Benefits Fund|
|Eligible Efficiency Technologies:||CHP/Cogeneration, Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Thermal Process Heat, Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Geothermal Electric, Fuel Cells, Geothermal Heat Pumps, CHP/Cogeneration, Anaerobic Digestion, Small Hydroelectric, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels|
Vermont's Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF) was established in 2005 to promote the development and deployment of cost-effective and environmentally sustainable electric power and thermal energy resources -- primarily renewable energy, combined heat and power (CHP), thermal, and geothermal energy.
From its establishment to 2012, the CEDF has been supported via annual payments from Entergy (which owns the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant). In return, under terms of two memoranda of understanding between Entergy and the Vermont Department of Public Service (DPS) that expire in March 2012, Entergy is permitted to store its own spent nuclear fuel at the Vermont Yankee. Historically, the CEDF received approximately $7 million from Entergy annually. However, in 2010 the fund received only $4.5 million from Entergy and approximately $3.9 million in 2011 through the end of the fund (March 2012). Balances in the CEDF are carried forward and may not be used for general obligations of Vermont's government. In addition, the Vermont Recovery and Reinvestment Act mandated that all funding received from the State Energy Program (SEP) and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program from the Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 be included in CEDF (approximately $31 million in total). Legislation enacted in 2012 authorized $3 million in appropriations from the Vermont general fund to the CEDF as long as the general fund is in the black. That transfer should take place after May 1, 2013.
The CEDF is authorized to support renewable-energy resources, and CHP systems. Eligible renewable-energy systems include photovoltaics; solar-thermal; wind; geothermal heat pumps; farm, landfill and sewer methane recovery; low-emission, advanced biomass; and CHP systems using biomass fuels such as wood, agricultural or food wastes, energy crops and organic refuse-derived waste. (Municipal solid waste is not eligible.) CHP systems must have a design system efficiency of at least 65% and must meet Vermont's air-quality standards in order to qualify. H.B. 781 (June, 2010) authorized the CEDF to support natural gas vehicles and/or fueling infrastructure as well, although no programs have been developed to do so.
The CEDF may be used to support projects that sell power in commercial quantities (especially those projects that sell electricity to Vermont utilities), projects to benefit publicly owned or leased buildings, renewable-energy projects on farms, small-scale renewable energy for homes and businesses, and "effective projects that are not likely to be established in the absence of funding." Super-efficient buildings were included until 2009. The CEDF has provided funding for the Vermont Solar and Small Wind Incentive Program, the CEDF Loan Program, the Business Solar Energy Tax Credits (since expired), the Grant in Lieu of Business Solar Energy Tax Credits (special provision, 2011 only) and the CEDF Grant Program.
The DPS, which originally managed the CEDF, issued a strategic plan for the fund in May 2007. Legislation in 2009 created the Clean Energy Development Board to manage the fund. Legislation in 2011 mandated that the DPS take back administration of the fund, but that Clean Energy Development Board maintans decision-making and approval powers for plans, budgets, and overall program designs and serve in an advisory role on the fund's administration.
The CEDF's 2011 Annual Report is a comprehensive review of the fund's history as well as 2011 activity.