New York Going Solar: Pay Attention to the Details

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Last Wednesday, the New York State Research Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) made details about new financial incentives for solar installations (PON2112) available on its site.

Putting forth a strong commitment to solar energy in the state, NYSERDA is offering the new rebate until December 31, 2015 or until funds are committed, whichever comes first. Much like the rebate (PON1050) that preceded it, the rebate offers $1.75/watt to eligible installers for residential, commercial and not for profit installs. The rebate may fluctuate a bit from month to month based on funding availability. NYSERDA budgets $2,000,000 a month in incentives, which is slightly higher than the monthly average of rebates granted in the first half of 2010. Once the monthly cap is reached, applications for rebates will be pushed to the following month for review.

The caps per install have remained largely the same, but will increase from 5kw to 7kw for residential installs. Commercial installs (50 kw) and not for profits (25kw) are similar to the caps found under PON1050.

As I spoke to fellow installers in the months leading up to PON1050 expiration date of June 30, we were in great anticipation of what NYSERDA would come up with.

With PON2112 stretching well into 2015, I speak for myself when I say that NYSERDA has delivered. Stability in incentives is a critical component of the success of renewable energy. We will know renewable energy will have “made it” when prices decrease to the point where incentives are not needed. With the 30% federal tax credit for renewables set to expire at the end of 2016 and now NYSERDA’s rebate lasting to 2015, I expect the timing to be perfect.

With demand rising globally, especially China’s big moves of late, prices on modules will continue to decline over the coming years. The crossover to a non-incentive world may be 2016. We may have to revisit this prediction in six years.

I actually have a vision of much faster growth and progress toward a non-incentive dependent world and think the possibility exists for us to live in this world well before 2016 – maybe even 2014 – 4/14/2014 – has a nice ring to it.

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  • http://www.bottlesandmore.com Glass Bottles

    Glad to hear that NY is taking the first step. Hears to hoping this thing expands at a fairly rapid pace!

  • http://www.energyimprovements.net Radiant Barrier

    I’m glad that New York is going to take the initiative to go solar! I’m glad that they are going to take the lead and not rely on China coming up with the new technologies!

  • http://www.edouardstenger.com Edouard Stenger

    These are sure good news but I believe the solar thermal plans are even more interesting.

    As I noted on my blog, the New York State is willing to install two gigawatts of capacity by 2020.

    This would save the state $175 million per year in electricity, gas and oil and would create up to 25,000 jobs in the decade.

    Ultimately, New York wants to ” become the national leader in the research, development, deployment and manufacture of solar thermal technologies.”

    Solar photovoltaic is indeed a great energy source and a fantastic alternative to dirty coal, but we shouldn’t forget about solar thermal.

    • Robert Schwartz

      This is a good step in the right direction, but the scale is still too small. System limits at 50 kw are simply too small for commercial projects to take root. Incentive plans that allow for projects in the 1 MW range are what is necessary to allow for a job creation engine in NY to develop along with a legitimate solar market.

  • http://alquimisolar.com Steve Fortuna

    The NYSRDA rebate budget is a drop in the bucket compared to the demand for solar in the state. There lies in committee in Albany a Solar Jobs Bill that will give NY the same RPS and SREC market drivers as neighboring New Jersey. This will encourage large scale commercial development on large warehouses, schools and factories who consume the most. If solar in snowy Ontario can be profitable with the right legislation, NY can easily surpass it if the political will exists.