In June 2012, Governor John Lynch signed a bill into law that adds thermal renewable energy to the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS). The RPS requires that utilities incorporate at least 24.8 percent of renewable energy into their energy mixes by 2025. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that the Northeast exports over $20 billion annually due to its dependence on imported heating oil.
New Hampshire will be the first state to fully incorporate renewable thermal energy into its RPS program, and grant incentives to biomass, solar heating, and geothermal project developers that are similar to those for renewable electricity projects. Renewable energy certificates (RECs) will be worth up to $25 per megawatt-hour of useful thermal energy produced by qualified thermal projects, and the program is authorized through at least 2025. Renewable thermal energy projects will qualify for the new incentives after January 1, 2013.
Examples of projects that will qualify are wood or wood pellet boilers that heat commercial or institutional buildings, solar hot water arrays on hospital rooftops, or geothermal heating and cooling systems for nursing homes or correctional facilities. The NH provision will be available to residential, commercial and industrial applicants. Qualified projects will be able to utilize the revenues from the sale of RECs to finance the often high-capital cost of these advanced renewable technologies, thus greatly increasing their return on investment. The RPS will now offer the same type of incentives to local, community scaled high-efficiency biomass thermal projects that biomass-to-electricity plants currently have in many states.
This EBC New Hampshire Chapter program will include presentations on:
- The New Hampshire regulatory framework for Renewable Thermal Energy
- Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) – what they are and how they work
- Financing of renewable thermal energy projects
- The application of geothermal heating/cooling
- Biomass thermal energy
- Solar heating & hot water
Charles A. Crocetti, Ph.D., P.G.
Senior Vice President/Principal
Sanborn, Head & Associates, Inc.
- Jack Ruderman, Sustainable Energy Director, NH Public Utilities Commission (PUC)
- Andrew Bobenski, Renewable Energy Developer / Attorney, Day Pitney
- Steve Condon, ReVision Energy, LLC
- Clarke Fenner, LVestus Energy, Inc.
- David Lamothe, P.E., AI, Senior Project Manager, GZA GeoEnvironmental
- Charlie Niebling, New England Wood Pellet/Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC)