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SOLAR POWER INCENTIVE PROGRAMS AVAILABLE IN NEW YORK
Even in the Northeastern United States, solar energy can make a significant contribution to meeting demands for electricity. The New York State Renewable Energy Task Force has recommended that New York increase its generation of electricity from photovoltaics eight-fold by 2011. By 2013, twenty-five percent of all power used in New York is to come from renewable resources via the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Renewable resources include solar, wind, biomass, and some hydroelectricity. In order to achieve the RPS “25 by 2013” goal, NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) offers grants and incentives to help bring down the costs of these clean resources.
SOLAR ELECTRIC INCENTIVE PROGRAM
The Solar Electric Incentive Program is an innovative program from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) that provides cash incentives for the installation of new Solar Electric or Photovoltaic (PV) systems by Eligible Installers.
On February 16, 2010 the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) issued an order providing $12 million ($2 million per month) in interim funding to allow NYSERDA to continue the PV incentive program from January - June 2010. The order also provides that (1) applications that exceed the $2 million monthly allocation will not be accepted; (2) incentive levels will be re-established each month; (3) incentive levels will be reduced by 10% whenever applications exceed available funding during the prior month; and (4) NYSERDA may increase incentive levels by 10% for the subsequent month if available funds from the prior month remain.
Customers who pay the state's RPS charge are eligible to participate in the PV Incentive Program. These include customers of the following utilities: Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, New York State Electric & Gas Corporation, Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, Orange and Rockland Utilities, and Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation. NYSERDA will hold the title to renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with the system's energy production for a period of three years, after which REC ownership will revert to the customer/generator.
SOLAR SALES TAX EXEMPTION
New York enacted legislation in July 2005 exempting the sale and installation of residential solar-energy systems from the state's sales and compensating use taxes. The exemption applies to solar-energy systems that utilize solar radiation to produce energy designed to provide heating, cooling, hot water and/or electricity. The exemption does not apply to solar pool heating or other recreational applications. There does not appear to be an expiration date* for this incentive.
The law also permits local governments (municipalities and counties) to grant an exemption from local sales taxes. If a city with a population of 1 million or more chooses to grant the local exemption, it must enact a specific resolution that appears in the state law. The New York Department of Taxation and Finance publishes a variety of sales tax reports detailing local tax rates and exemptions, including those for solar energy equipment. The solar sales tax list (Publication 718-S) is updated several times per year.
NYSERDA - Grants for Public and Non-Profit Energy Conservation Projects
The New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has issued a competitive grant solicitation for energy conservation projects undertaken by municipal governments; public schools (K-12); public colleges and universities; public and private hospitals; Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES); and non-profits. Funding for the grant program comes from State Energy Program project implementation funds provided to New York under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Eligible projects include energy efficiency improvements, on-site renewable energy projects, and clean vehicle fleet projects.
Renewable Energy: Funding is available for up to 100% of project costs with a maximum of $1 million. Total project costs must be less than $8,000 per 10 million BTUs of energy generated or saved annually. In addition, projects must be located on the customer's premises, be used primarily to serve on-site energy needs, and be designed such that energy generation does not exceed annual on-site energy consumption. Solar electric (PV); solar domestic hot water and space heating and fuel cell systems are all eligible for grants. PV systems of 50 kilowatts (kW) or less must use NYSERDA approved equipment and be installed by a NYSERDA approved installer.
830 New Loudon Road
Latham, NY 12110-2109
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