Citing over-subscription, the Modesto Irrigation District (MID) in California has abruptly canceled its popular solar rebate program, backdating the deadline for applications to May 1. The utility says its budget ran out for the program, which had just recently been expanded.
The MID had been offering incentives to electric customers who purchase and install solar photovoltaic electricity generating systems on their home or business. This year, the incentives had provided for rebates of $0.80 per installed AC watt per approved customer account, not to exceed 50% of eligible project costs on systems of 30 kW or less. For systems greater than 30 kW and up to 1 MW, the MID had offered a performance-based incentive of $0.09/kWh of solar energy produced up to the first five years the PV system is in place, not to exceed 50% of eligible project costs.
According to the MID, solar projects that were submitted for consideration prior to May 1 are still eligible for rebates. Projects also can still be submitted for interconnection without the rebate incentive.
A report in the Modesto Bee says that many local homeowners and installers have been left in the lurch by the sudden reversal, with many existing contracts now likely to be canceled.
‘We understand this may be a hardship for many individuals already planning their solar PV project,’ the MID says in a statement on its website. ‘We apologize for the inconvenience.’