New York state unveils new PV initiative


The NY-Sun initiative’s goal is to double the amount of solar installed for customers in 2012, and quadruple it in 2013. Specifically, the Public Service Commission has approved US$432 million worth of funding, to be made available over the next four years for customer-sited photovoltaic systems.

Furthermore, in a statement released yesterday, the governor said the expanded solar program "will increase financial incentives for large, commercial-sized PV projects and expand incentive programs for small-to-medium residential and commercial systems."

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has further made $30 million available for its competitively bid solar program, which focuses on larger-scale and aggregated systems for businesses, colleges, universities, and other large buildings.

Under the NY-Sun initiative, NYSERDA and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) have also unveiled a Sun balance-of-system (BOS) program, which aims to standardize and streamline the procedures for photovoltaic permitting and interconnection, and development and training across the state.

They are working together with both private and public partners, and are "building on the BOS advancements made by the City University of New York (CUNY) and the efforts underway in the PV Manufacturing Consortium". The two authorities added that "at least" $40 million dollars will be available help reduce the equipment and installation costs.

Furthermore, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) is said to be implementing a new program in the New York State, which will see it purchase up to 50 MW of solar power generated on its customers’ premises. "Under this plan, the owner of the PV system is paid a fixed rate by LIPA for every solar kilowatt hour generated over a 20-year term," explained the statement.

It added, "The NY-Sun Initiative brings together and expands existing programs administered by … NYSERDA …LIPA and … NYPA, to ensure a coordinated and well-funded solar energy expansion plan."

The New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA) praised the new initiative. "NYSEIA applauds the Governor’s efforts to advance the deployment of solar energy in New York State," said president Ron Kamen, chairman of EarthKind Solar Energy. "In the short-term a robust solar marketplace creates local jobs and serves as an economic engine while solar energy’s long-term benefits include improved air quality for New Yorkers. We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor to expand programs like this and develop a long-term plan to advance the use of solar energy in the state."

According to GTM Research and the Solar Energies Industry Association, New York state is ranked number 10 in terms of photovoltaic installations in the U.S., behind New Jersey, California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Hawaii, North Carolina, Colorado and Pennsylvania.