The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) provides cash incentives for residential solar PV systems that are 25kW or less. Incentives will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis, and PV incentive applications will be accepted through December 31, 2023, or until funds are fully committed, whichever comes first. Total Incentives available is subject to change.
The Federal government offers Tax Credits on up to 30% of the cost of residential solar PV systems. The 30% is factored in after the NYSERDA Rebate, but there is no maximum for this credit. If the federal tax credit exceeds tax liability, the excess amount may be carried forward to the succeeding taxable year. Currently, the expiration date for this tax credit is 12/31/2016.
New York State offers a Tax Credit on up to 25% of the cost of residential photovoltaic solar systems. The 25% is factored in after the NYSERDA rebate, with a maximum limit of $5,000.00.
NY-Sun is part of the Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s commitment to protect the environment and lower energy costs for all New Yorkers by improving the efficiency and reliability of the electric grid. Governor Cuomo launched NY-Sun in 2012 to increase solar electric installations in the State. In April 2014, the Governor made a historic commitment of nearly $1 billion to NY-Sun, which will significantly expand deployment of solar capacity throughout the State and transform New York’s solar industry to a sustainable, subsidy-free sector. This scale-up is projected to make the solar industry self-sufficient in New York State, no longer requiring government subsidies as the cost of solar becomes comparable to the cost of electricity from the grid.
In the first two years of NY-Sun, a total of 316 megawatts (MW) of solar electric was installed or is under contract, more than was installed in the entire prior decade. Approximately 116,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions will be avoided with the installation of the NY-Sun projects, which is the equivalent of removing 23,000 cars from the road. The expansion of NY-Sun, announced in April 2014, is expected to result in 3 gigawatts of installed capacity by 2023. This scale-up is projected to make the solar industry self-sufficient in New York State, no longer requiring government subsidies as the cost of solar becomes comparable to the cost of electricity from the grid.
The State has redesigned its solar programs using a Megawatt (MW) Block system that provides certainty and transparency regarding incentive levels to the industry, accounts for regional market differences, and provides a clear signal to industry that New York intends to eliminate cash incentives in a reasonable time frame and allows for the elimination of those incentives sooner in regions where market conditions can support it. The State also continues to invest in ways to decrease the cost of solar electric systems by reducing “balance-of-system costs,” which includes streamlining the inspection and permitting process and reducing upfront costs of installation and solar electric components other than the solar module.
NYSERDA has begun transitioning to the statewide NY-Sun Incentive Program, using a Megawatt (MW) Block system, starting in August 2014 for solar electric systems up to 200kW in capacity and in early 2015 for systems larger than 200kW in solar capacity. The MW Block system allocates MW targets to three regions – Long Island, Con Edison territory and Upstate, with each regional block being divided into three sectors, specifically:
Each region and sector is assigned a series of MW targets at certain incentive levels, referred to as blocks. As applications are submitted, incentives are assigned and the Kilowatt (kW) associated with the applications are added together. When the MW target for that block is reached, the block is closed and a new block, with a new MW target and a lower incentive level, is started. 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.
Here’s an example of how the MW Block structure works:
If the first Upstate Residential block was for 40 MW and the incentive was $1/watt, once contracts are in place for those 40 MW, the second Upstate Residential block will be made available at a slightly lower incentive rate – 90 cents/watt. This decrease in incentives will continue with each new block.
The NY-Sun Incentive Program regional targets for solar electric systems under 200 kW are:
MW goals for large nonresidential projects will be determined for Con Edison and Upstate regions when these blocks are launched in 2015. Note that the NY-Sun Incentive Program does not include a block for systems larger than 200kW for customers served by PSEG Long Island.
The goals are based on the maturity of the markets in each region.
No, these NYSERDA programs are being transitioned into the MW block system. Residential solar projects of up to 25 kilowatts (kW) and nonresidential solar projects of up to 200 kW (formerly administered by the Solar Electric Incentive Program) are now receiving support through the NY-Sun Incentive Program, which uses the MW block system. Projects larger than 200 kW (formerly administered through the Competitive PV program) will receive support from the NY-Sun Incentive Program starting in 2015.
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NYSERDA will facilitate access to financing as cash incentives are reduced and – ultimately – eliminated. Residential and small nonresidential customers may be able to qualify for financing for solar electric systems through Green Jobs-Green New York, and we can help you apply.
Balance-of-system costs refer to costs of all aspects of installing the solar electric system with the exception of the solar electric modules themselves. This includes time and administrative costs associated with selling and signing a contract, system design and permitting, installation labor and component costs, inspections, travel to and from the installation site, and other costs of doing business. NYSERDA, NYPA, LIPA and PSEG Long Island are working with the solar electric industry, utilities, municipal leaders, training organizations, community-based organizations, financing organizations, and others to help permanently lower these costs. For example, the Community Solar and K-Solar programs introduced by Governor Cuomo in January 2014 are expected to make solar electric systems more accessible and affordable through community networks, aggregated purchasing, shared ownership/investment and other strategies. K-Solar applies these models to schools.
In addition, NYSERDA has been working with the City University of New York and others to streamline and standardize municipal permits for solar electric installations, which can then be adopted by municipalities for their own use. NYSERDA also supports research and development projects that will reduce the cost of installing solar electric, as well as projects to reduce costs to finance solar electric, increase the competitiveness of the solar electric marketplace, and allow consumers to make more informed solar electric purchasing decisions.
Between NYSERDA and New York Power Authority more than $50 million has been allocated for balance-of-system activities through 2016. In addition, the federal government has been investing in BOS cost reduction through its Solar Rooftops initiative for more than seven years.
NYPA is administering the K-Solar program, under Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun Initiative. K-Solar is a joint partnership between NYPA and NYSERDA. Working with the New York State Education Department, K-Solar provides school districts with the tools and expertise necessary to bring solar energy to their facilities and reduce their energy costs.
In addition, NYPA and NYSERDA are coordinating on PowerUp Long Island, a partnership between state energy agencies and local utilities to support further development and deployment of clean and renewable energy sources on Long Island. This new initiative is designed to advance the region’s significant progress in integrating clean energy technologies to create efficient, reliable and affordable energy systems for Long Island’s communities.
NYPA, through its Solar Market Acceleration Program (Solar MAP), and NYSERDA are working together to advance technology and reduce the balance-of-system (BOS) solar electric costs in New York, which include all non-module solar costs such as installation and permitting.
Yes, incentives are available for NYPA customers, which are mostly government buildings, municipalities and schools across the State. In addition to the NY-Sun incentives, NYPA also offers low-cost financing for solar projects at customer facilities and other public facilities statewide.
NYSERDA is the statewide administrator of the NY-Sun Incentive Program, and PSEG Long Island is the local administrator on Long Island. PSEG Long Island was involved in the MW Block system design process, it reviews and approves applications received by NYSERDA for LIPA customers and it works with installers on Long Island to approve projects, verify installations and inform NYSERDA when the projects are ready for payment. NYSERDA will perform these tasks for the other two regions of the State.
Breakdown of funding available for the Residential and Small Business (under 200kW) MW Block Incentive program:
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