Standard Offer for Qualifying SPEED Resources

June 22, 2015


Note: The first RFP for the new competitive award process has passed; applications were accepted through May 1, 2013. See the program web site for information regarding future solicitations.

In May 2009, Vermont enacted legislation requiring all Vermont retail electricity providers to purchase electricity generated by eligible renewable energy facilities through the Sustainably Priced Energy Enterprise Development (SPEED) Program via long-term contracts with fixed standard offer rates. This policy, commonly known as a "feed-in tariff," is intended to provide a reasonable return on investment to renewable energy facility developers, thereby spurring deployment of renewable energy.

Eligible renewable energy facilities are certain qualifying SPEED resources (including solar, wind, biomass, landfill gas, farm methane derived from agricultural operations and energy crops, and hydropower facilities) up to 2.2 megawatts (MW) in capacity that are commissioned on or after September 30, 2009. SPEED projects must apply for and be granted a "Certificate of Public Good." Projects 150 kW and less may apply for the "Certificate of Public Good for Net Metered Systems." Eligible wood biomass resources may only receive the standard offer if the plant's system efficiency is 50% or greater.

In 2013, the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) established a new market-based pricing mechanism per S.B. 214 (Act 170). Beginning in 2013, contracts are awarded though a Request for Proposal (RFP) process, with RFPs released annually on April 1. The PSB set avoided-cost rates to be used as annual per-kWh cost caps for contracts. Contracts will be selected competitively based on the proposed $/kWh structure. The full avoided-cost schedule is available in the RFP and here. The RFPs will be capped at 5 MW capacity each year from 2013-2015, 7.5 MW each year from 2016-2018, and 10 MW each year in 2019 and 2020.  Five hundred kW of this cap is reserved for utilities each year from 2013 to 2015; 1.125 MW is reserved in 2016-2018, and 2 MW is research each year in 2019 and 2020.

The long-term contracts are 10 to 25 years for solar and 10 to 20 years for all other technologies. As a condition of the standard offer, the renewable energy credits (RECs) generated are transferred to the retail electric provider that purchases the power from the renewable energy facility, except in the case of a facility using methane from agricultural operations. In that case, the plant owner retains ownership of the RECs and may sell them if desired. Retail electric providers and owners of renewable energy facilities may enter into voluntary contracts with different terms than the standard offer contract terms at their discretion. The PSB is required to establish standard offer contract and pricing for existing hydroelectric plants by January 15, 2013. (The capacity of existing hydro will not count toward the cumulative program cap.)

The PSB issues annual reports on the SPEED Standard Offer Program to the legislature every January. The first report of the standard offer to the legislature in January 2011. The second report was issued in January 2012.

Legislation enacted in May 2012 (S.B. 214 / Act 170) increased the Standard Offer Program to 127.5 MW. Starting April 1, 2013, there will be annual increases to the program cap, until the 127.50 MW cumulative capacity is reached. The schedule for annual increases is as follows, and may be adjusted to account for greenhouse gas reduction credits, as provided for in the law:

  • April 1, 2013: 55 MW
  • April 1, 2014: 60 MW
  • April 1, 2015: 65 MW
  • April 1, 2016: 72.5 MW
  • April 1, 2017: 80 MW
  • April 1, 2018: 87.5 MW
  • April 1, 2019: 97.5 MW
  • April 1, 2020: 107.5 MW
  • April 1, 2021: 117.5 MW
  • April 1, 2022: 127.5 MW


Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Vermont
Incentive Type: Performance-Based Incentive
Web Site:
Administrator: VEPP, Inc.
Start Date: 09/30/2009
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar Photovoltaics
  • Wind (All)
  • Biomass
  • Hydroelectric
  • Municipal Solid Waste
  • Landfill Gas
  • Wind (Small)
  • Hydroelectric (Small)
  • Anaerobic Digestion
Maximum Incentive: Varies by technology
Terms: Long-term contracts of 10-25 years for solar and 10-20 years for other technologies
Eligible System Size: Maximum system capacity is 2.2 MW; overall cap of the standard offer program is 127.5 MW
Equipment Requirements: Effective date: 09/30/2009
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits: RECs are transferred to the utility, except in the case of farm methane generators (who maintain RECs)


Name: 30 V.S.A. § 8001 et seq.
Date Enacted: 06/15/2004 (subsequently amended)
Name: CVR 30 000 054. 4.300
Date Enacted: 09/10/2006 (subsequently amended)
Name: Order Establishing A Standard-Offer Program for Qualifying SPEED Resources
Date Enacted: 09/30/2009
Effective Date: 09/30/2009
Name: Final Order Standard Offer Price Determination for SPEED Resources
Date Enacted: 01/15/2010
Name: Order Amending Standard Offer Rates
Date Enacted: 01/23/2012
Effective Date: 03/23/2012
Name: S.B. 214 (Public Law 170)
Date Enacted: 05/18/2012
Effective Date: 05/18/2012
Name: Order to Establish Prices and Programmatic Changes
Date Enacted: 03/01/2013


Name: Carolyn Alderman
Organization: VEPP Inc.
Address: P.O. Box 1938
Manchester Center VT 05255
Phone: (802) 362-0748

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.