SMUD - Feed-in Tariff

January 25, 2011


As of January 19, 2010, SMUD's feed-in tariff is fully subscribed. SMUD received applications for projects totaling more than 100 MW, the aggregate cap for the program. SMUD continued accepting applications for a period of time in the event a project in the queue was canceled, but announced in August 2010 that they would no longer accept new applications. Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) offers a feed-in tariff for combined heat and power (CHP) and various renewable energy technologies. Every renewable energy technology that can be used to satisfy California's renewables portfolio standard is eligible for the feed-in tariff. Unlike the feed-in tariffs offered by some European countries, which have a single fixed rate, SMUD's feed-in tariff varies by time of day, season, length of contract and production year, with the highest rates being paid during summer super peak times. Additionally, SMUD has two different feed-in tariff rate schedules; one for CHP and one for the renewable energy technologies. Both rate schedules are available through the program website listed above. For PV projects with 20-year contracts started in 2010, the average weighted production payment is estimated to be $0.139 per kWh. The rates paid for CHP projects increase annually and participating projects will receive the new, higher rates every year. For example, a CHP project installed in 2010 will receive the 2010 rates throughout 2010. In 2011, the same CHP project will receive the 2011 rates. Unlike the rates paid for CHP, the rates paid for renewable energy projects are dependent on the year the system is placed in service, with slightly higher rates being paid for systems installed in future years. Once a system is installed, it is locked into the rates established for that year throughout the life of the contract. For example, a renewable energy project constructed in 2010 will receive the 2010 rates for all future years in the contract. The feed-in tariff is limited to systems 5 MW or less, and SMUD has set an initial aggregate capacity limit of 100 MW. Applicants will be charged a refundable cash reservation deposit of $20/kW and a non-refundable interconnection review fee of $1,400.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Utility
Category: Financial Incentive
State: California
Incentive Type: Performance-Based Incentive
Web Site:
Administrator: Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Geothermal Electric
  • Solar Thermal Electric
  • Solar Photovoltaics
  • Wind (All)
  • Biomass
  • Municipal Solid Waste
  • Combined Heat & Power
  • Landfill Gas
  • Tidal
  • Wave
  • Ocean Thermal
  • Wind (Small)
  • Hydroelectric (Small)
  • Anaerobic Digestion
  • Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels
Incentive Amount: Rate varies depending on the year placed in service, time of day, time of year, and length of contract
Terms: 10, 15 or 20 years


Name: Feed-in Tariff Program
Organization: Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Address: P.O. Box 15830
Sacramento CA 95852-1830
Phone: (916) 732-6244

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.