Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has committed another $1 billion to NY-Sun in order to significantly expand deployment of solar capacity throughout the state and transform New York’s solar industry into a sustainable, subsidy-free sector through long-term funding certainty that will boost existing businesses and attract new investments.
“This $1 billion investment underscores New York’s commitment to growing the clean energy economy,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement. “By providing long-term funding certainty, the state is attracting private sector investment, creating new economic opportunities and supporting sustainable development. Initiatives such as NY-Sun can work to provide innovative solutions, create a more resilient and flexible power grid, lower the state’s carbon footprint and promote a cleaner and healthier environment.”
At the same time, the Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved an order to dramatically change NYSERDA’s current incentive-based solar programs by creating a long-term roadmap to transition from government-sponsored energy programs to market-based sustainable solutions for the solar industry.
NY-Sun and the recent order are part of New York’s move to a more market-based, decentralized approach shaping the state’s energy policy.
To drive market penetration on a large-scale basis, the PSC order provides long-term, stable funding over a 10-year period to support photovoltaic (PV) projects throughout the state. In doing so, the PSC approved a transition to a “Megawatt Block incentive structure” that allocates MWs to specific regions of the state; breaks those regional MW targets into blocks to which incentives are assigned; and awards incentives based upon the block in effect at the time. This new structure will provide allocations on a regional basis in three categories: residential PV projects up to 25 kW, non-residential PV projects up to 200 kW, and systems greater than 200 kW. The allocations will be based on historic demand, market potential, installed cost per watt, and equity.
The MW Block model will allow the market to grow at its own pace, enabling a self-sustaining industry over the long term. As the blocks are fulfilled, incentives will decline at the rate the market will bear.