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New York’s Solar Programs Merge under NY-Sun Initiative

August 25, 2014 By Karen Henry

ny-skyline-energy-manageNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state’s multiple solar programs are transitioning to the single, statewide NY-Sun Incentive Program. This effort is designed to support the state’s solar economy through the $1 billion NY-Sun initiative.

Launched in 2012, NY-Sun is part of Governor Cuomo’s commitment to protect the environment, grow the clean energy economy and lower energy costs for New Yorkers. The program provides financial support for solar projects and uses a MW block system approach that is responsive to changing market conditions, allowing the solar market in each region of the state to grow at its own pace.

The MW block system divides the state into three regions: Con Edison territory, Long Island and Upstate. Each region is assigned separate MW blocks and incentive levels for residential solar projects up to 25 kW and small, non-residential solar projects up to 200 kW. When the MW target for the first block in each sector (residential or small non-residential) within a region is reached, that block is closed and a new block for the sector is started with a new MW target and a lower incentive level. Once all of the blocks for a particular region and sector are filled, an incentive for that region and sector will no longer be offered.

New York State Energy Research & Development Agency (NYSERDA) will work closely with PSEG Long Island, which will locally administer the program on Long Island. The transition is expected to be complete by August 28, 2014. The MW blocks and incentives for large commercial systems over 200 kW will be available in 2015.

While growth of solar in the residential sector has been successful on Long Island, small non-residential solar growth has been slower. The NY-Sun Incentive Program increases the size of non-residential systems eligible for incentives from 100 kW to 200 kW and provides incentives for non-residential systems that are installed through power purchase agreements and leases.

In the first two years of NY-Sun, a total of 316 MW of solar photovoltaic has been installed or is under contract. The program expects to add more than 3,000 MW of installed solar capacity in the State by 2023.

Photo via Shutterstock.

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