MONTPELIER The Vermont Department of Public Service (DPS) has awarded the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) a two-year contract to administer the Vermont Small-Scale Renewable Energy Program following a competitive bidding process, the Douglas administration announced today. Governor Douglas said nearly $1.5 million will be available to Vermonters to support photovoltaic, solar hot water, wind installations and hydropower stations. This important program is helping us to further diversify our energy portfolio and reduce the need for more expensive oil and other fossil fuels by helping individuals, businesses, farms, schools, and municipalities install solar, wind or hydropower systems, Governor Douglas said. And weve put an emphasis on helping schools, local governments and low-income multi-family housing buildings reduce their energy costs using these innovative renewable sources. The Vermont Small-Scale Renewable Energy Program was signed into law by Governor Douglas in June 2003. Since then, more than 583 renewable energy systems have been built. The new incentive funding is expected to support the installation of approximately 250 more renewable energy systems throughout the state, which could generate an additional 540 MWh of electricity annually, the Governor added. The $1.5 million funding for the Program comes from the Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF), which is funded through proceeds due to the state under the terms of two memoranda of understanding between the DPS and Entergy. The purpose of the CEDF is to promote the development and deployment of cost-effective and environmentally sustainable electric power resources for the long-term benefit of Vermont electric customers. In addition to the Vermont Small-Scale Renewable Energy Program, the CEDF awards grants and loans for renewable energy and combined heat and power projects. More information is available on the Vermont Small-Scale Renewable Energy Program at: www.rerc-vt.org/incentives or by calling the toll-free hotline at: 1-877-888-7372. Additional information on the CEDF, including the grant and loan programs, is available on the DPS website at: http://publicservice.vermont.gov/energy/ee_cleanenergyfund.html .