Solar Energy Industry Gets Legislative Win in NY

Joanna Schroeder

The solar industry in New York state got a legislative win when Governor Andrew Cuomo approved several bills that give tax exemptions to solar projects in the state. Earlier this month the Governor announced $30 million in funding for 16 PV projects through an NY-Sun sub-program as well as $107 million in funding for customer-sited solar photovoltaic (PV) projects larger than 50 kW. The funding is being distributed over two years with $36.4 million available for 2012 and $70.5 million available in 2013 through the NY-Sun Competitive PV program.

“We applaud Governor Cuomo, as well as Senator George Maziarz and Assemblyman Cahill for their bipartisan work paving the way for solar to succeed in New York State,” said Carrie Cullen Hitt, Vice President for State Affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “By making it more affordable for businesses and homeowners to install solar systems, these laws are vital to helping New York realize its goal of 45 percent renewable-powered electricity by 2015. We look forward to continuing to work with state leaders so that New York can meet its total solar market potential in the near future.”

Three bills were signed: Bill A 34-B provides tax credits for solar energy system equipment; Bill A 10620 provides for the amount of tax abatement for solar generating systems in cities of one million or more; and Bill A 5522-B exempts the sale and installation of commercial solar energy systems from state sales and compensating use taxes and allows municipalities to grant these systems a tax exemption as well.

The state also has several other policies in place to promote solar investment. These include a feed-in tariff through Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) customer-sited tiered program, and rules for net metering that allows customers credit for excess power generated and sent back to the grid.

Nearly 7,500 solar photovoltaic (PV) solar installations have been completed in New York making the state 6th in number of PV systems. When combined, the systems have the capacity to produce 121 megawatts of energy or enough to power around 20,000 average sized homes.

Electricity, Energy, Legislation, Solar