(New York) PV incentive Program
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) provides an incentive of $1.50 per watt (DC) to eligible installers for the installation of approved, grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems. Total incentives may not exceed 40% of the installed project cost after any available tax credits. 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.
The maximum capacity supported by the program is 7 kilowatts (kW) for residential systems; 50 kW for non-residential systems; and 25 kW for non-profits, schools and municipalities (see bold note above for information on a revision of this limit). Larger systems are eligible for incentives, but incentives may only be received for installed capacity up to the program caps. Incentives are only available to eligible installers, and incentives must be passed on in full to customers. PV systems must be sized to meet specific site energy needs (local load or demand) and may not exceed 110% of the demonstrated energy demand for the site, taking into account any other on-site electrical power generation systems. Incentive levels will be reduced in proportion to potential output losses of greater than 20%. 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.
Installer eligibility will be determined and maintained based on factors such as acceptance of all program terms and conditions, training, installation experience, track record related to utility interconnections, overall performance, monitoring, customer references, customer satisfaction, and commitment to become certified through a national certification program. NYSERDA is providing accredited training opportunities for PV installers to the greatest extent possible. Training opportunities are posted on NYSERDA’s Renewable Energy Training web site. Beginning June 30, 2011 all installers must be NABCEP certified in order to qualify for the program. The program web site (listed above) provides a list of more than 125 fully eligible installers and many others with provisional approval.
Once eligible, installers reserve incentives for approved systems for specific customers on a first-come, first-served basis for as long as funds are available within the monthly budgets. Applications are limited to 300 kW per eligible installer company per month. This limit applies to the total number of applications from one installer company, even if the company employs more than one eligible installer. Prior to installing a PV system, contractors must provide customers with information and basic assistance in understanding possible energy efficiency improvements and benefits, although energy efficiency measure installation is not required for program participation.
Incentives are paid to installers in two increments and are tied to specific installation milestones. The first incentive payment, or 75% of the total incentive amount approved by NYSERDA, will be paid after all system components have been delivered to a customer’s site and the appropriate form is completed, submitted and approved by NYSERDA. The second incentive payment, or the remaining 25%, will be paid after a PV system has been connected to the utility grid and/or inspected by NYSERDA or its representatives and the appropriate form has been completed, submitted and approved by NYSERDA.
During 2008 and 2009, the published program budget totaled $75.3 million**, and the PSC later authorized additional interim funding of $2 million per month to allow the program to continue from through June 2010. The program formerly accepted applications from eligible installers on a continuous basis, but the program now adheres to a monthly budgets and applications that exceed the budget will not be accepted. The total 2010-2015 budget is $175 million, including the interim funding from the first half of 2010 and additional funding allocations of $31.1 million made during 2012 for the 2012 and 2013 program years. The 2012 funding additions stem from New York’s NY-Sun Initiative, which sets a goal of quadrupling 2011 annual PV capacity installation within the state by 2013.
*In April 2012 the PSC issued two separate orders affecting the funding and operation of the PV Incentive program. The PSC’s April 20, 2012 Order authorized the reallocation of $17.6 million in unencumbered funds to the program, increasing total 2012 funding from $24 million to $41.6 million. The PSC’s April 24, 2012 Order provided additional funding of $13.5 million for the 2013 program year, increasing total 2013 funding from $24 million to $37.5 million. The orders also increase the monthly program budget, formerly set at $2 million per month, to accommodate the additional funding for 2012 and 2013 in an even manner.
**The original 2007 – 2009 Customer-Sited Tier Operating Plan authorized $13.8 million for this program during 2008 and 2009. However, discretionary funding amounting to $4.4 million was later added in order to meet program demand. Supplements of $20.6 million in October 2008 and $21.5 million (NYSERDA reallocation) were made through February 2009 in order to keep the program open. Finally, an additional $15 million in program funding was authorized in June 2009 by order of the PSC, bringing total 2008-2009 funding to $75.3 million. The June 2009 PSC order contains a detailed description of this progression.
|Incentive Type:||State Rebate Program|
|Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:||Photovoltaics|
|Applicable Sectors:||Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, State Government, Institutional, (Must be customer of an investor-owned utility in NY)|
|Amount:||$1.50/watt DC; Incentive may be reduced for potential production losses associated with shading, system orientation, tilt angle, and other factors|
|Maximum Incentive:||Maximum determined by sector, incentive level; may not exceed 40% of costs after any available tax credits
Non-profit, gov’t, schools: $37,500
|Eligible System Size:||None specified, but systems may not exceed 110% of demonstrated energy demand.|
|Equipment Requirements:||Systems and components must be new; modules and inverters must meet applicable UL and IEEE standards; monitoring equipment with accuracy of +/- 5% required; minimum five-year system warranty against breakdown or degradation of more than 10% from original rated output; two-year warranty on battery back-up systems.|
|Installation Requirements:||System must be a grid-connected, end-use application; be installed by a pre-approved contractor; and comply with New York’s Standard Interconnection Requirements and all federal, state and local codes.|
|Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits:||NYSERDA for first 3 years of system operation, customer/generator thereafter|
|Funding Source:||RPS surcharge|
|Program Budget:||2010-2015: $175 M*
2008-2009: $75.3 M**
|Start Date:||08/12/2010 (current PON 2112)|