NY Residential, Small Businesses Eligible for Additional Solar, Wind Funding

The New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) today authorized a series of changes in the state’s renewable energy program to provide even more opportunity for residential and commercial customers to participate in and receive funding to install renewable energy devices.

“Encouraging homeowners and business owners to install renewable energy technology will directly help them lower their energy bills,” said Commission Chairman Garry Brown. “In addition to directly benefiting customers, these changes will help reduce the state’s dependence on fossil fuels, enabling all of us to gain greater control of our energy future.”

As part of the Commission’s actions to ensure that the success of the state’s renewable energy program continues unabated, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) was authorized to distribute to eligible customers $35.5 million in Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) customer-sited tier program funds for additional projects for 2011.

To encourage greater development of solar power, the Commission authorized NYSERDA to set aside $900,000 to fund a solar thermal awareness and outreach campaign through 2013. The Commission also said it would allow NYSERDA to exceed the $2 million cumulative monthly cap on incentive payments in the solar photovoltaic category by $8.9 million.

While helping to ensure the success of solar power resource development, the Commission also expanded the size of wind turbines eligible for funding that could be installed by residential and commercial customers. Such customers can now install wind turbines up to 2 MW in size, an increase of the 600 kW-sized turbines that had previously been allowed, while still being provided with a maximum incentive of $400,000 per installation/customer location.

Increasing the size of equipment eligible for incentives in the customer-sited wind program will likely result in an increase in program participation, without increasing the current incentive cap, which could result in higher amounts of renewable energy generated at no additional cost to ratepayers.

The Commission’s decision today, when issued, may be obtained by going to the Commission Documents section of the Commission’s Web site at www.dps.state.ny.us and entering Case Number 03-E-0188 in the input box labeled “Search for Case/Matter Number”. Many libraries offer free Internet access. Commission orders may also be obtained from the Commission’s Files Office, 14th floor, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223 (518-474-2500).

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