SPEED Frequently Asked Questions
What are the advantages of being a SPEED project?
The major advantage of being a SPEED project is that the Vermont Legislature has incentivized the Vermont Utilities to include increasing amounts of SPEED resources in their power supply portfolios. This means that the 18 Vermont Utilities are actively trying to contract for the output from SPEED projects or are trying to be owners of SPEED projects.
What types of projects qualify as SPEED projects?
SPEED projects are electric generating projects that produce renewable energy. A SPEED project must use a technology that relies on a resource that is being consumed at a harvest rate at or below its natural regeneration rate. Obvious examples of SPEED projects are utility scale wind farms, hydroelectric projects less than 200 MW, wood-to-energy projects, landfill gas-to-energy projects, etc. Combined Heat and Power (CHP) projects are SPEED projects if they meet certain efficiency standards or if they are fueled with a renewable resource.
Projects that use a mix of fossil fuels and renewable fuels, such as a diesel generator that is partially fuled with bio-diesel, may qualify as SPEED in proportion to the amount of renewable fuel (in this case bio-diesel) that is used.
The incremental energy produced by an expansion or modification of a pre-existing renewable energy project will be considered a SPEED project.
I have a wind generator at my house that I net-meter. Will this qualify as a SPEED project?
Net-metered projects do not qualify as SPEED projects.
I’m still not sure how much of my project qualifies as a SPEED resource. How can I find out for sure?
There are exceptions and nuances to the definitions regarding what qualifies as a SPEED project. You can review the specifics in 4.304 of Rule 4.300. You can look at the definitions 30 V.S.A. § 8002. You can also contact the SPEED Facilitator to get his opinion. For a definitive answer you can, at any time, seek a “Certification” from the Public Service Board (PSB) as to whether or not the project constitutes a SPEED project (refer to 4.305 of Rule 4.300).
Do SPEED projects need to include Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) when they sell their output in Vermont?
How can the SPEED Facilitator help prospective SPEED projects?
The SPEED Facilitator will help potential SPEED project developers by being a clearinghouse for information regarding the development process and for information regarding the purchase and sale of the output from SPEED projects. Additionally, the SPEED Facilitator can bring together SPEED projects and Vermont Utilities interested in purchasing the output from SPEED projects.
The SPEED Facilitator can administrate a power purchase and sale agreement between a SPEED project and one or more Vermont utilities including metering, billing, and payment services.
The SPEED Facilitator can be a purchaser-of-last-resort for the output from a SPEED project. The SPEED Facilitator can perform this role only after all reasonable attempts have been made to find one or more Vermont utilities to purchase the output. The SPEED Facilitator can purchase and sell the output from a SPEED project into the regional market, to an out-of-state utility, or to a group of Vermont utilities.
What price will I be paid for the output from my SPEED projects?
Whatever you can negotiate with a purchaser!
Some background: there are 18 Vermont utilities. The Vermont utilities have varying appetites for the output from SPEED projects. In general, the price paid should reflect not only the value of the energy, but also the value of the capacity. Additionally, the value of the renewable attributes belong to a SPEED project either to sell to the purchaser or into the market.
For projects 20 MW or less that are QFs, the interconnecting utility has an obligation under PURPA to purchase energy and capacity at its “avoided costs.”
Are there “standard offer” contracts available in Vermont for SPEED projects?
Yes, for SPEED projects up to 2.2 MW in size. See the Standard Offer Program portion of this site for information.
Are there any incentives available for SPEED projects?
Yes, by definition SPEED projects qualify for many of the renewable energy federal incentives such as solar energy tax credits, production tax credits, accelerated depreciation, etc. More information on federal incentives can be found at www.dsireusa.org.
In Vermont, SPEED projects are eligible to compete for loans from the Vermont Clean Energy Development fund. Some projects may also qualify for incentives from Vermont’s Solar & Small Wind Incentive Program. More information can be found at www.revermont.org/incentives.htm.
Additionally, SPEED projects are classified as “eligible facilities” under 10 V.S.A. chapter 12 and are eligible for low interest loans from the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA). More information on VEDA’s loan program is available at www.veda.org.