Policies That Govern The Use Of Solar Systems In New York
Topdot Solar


October 30, 2020

Policies That Govern The Use Of Solar Systems In New York

The nationwide shift towards green energy has been regulated through legislative action from both the federal and state governments. In light of this, New York stands out in the history of solar adaptation across the country. Within the last decade, it has remained in the top 10 solar markets of the United States. This remarkable position is sustained by the impressive policies and programs derived by the governing body of the state. 

These policies are designed to encourage investment in and use of solar energy by industrial, commercial, and residential owners. They set the standard for generation, distribution, and incentives. Highlights from the policies that govern the use of solar systems in New York include; 

The Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act

  • This renewable energy act was passed into the state budget in 2020. It was established to regulate the environmental impact of solar projects while ensuring that communities can continue to afford solar power. Through this policy, New York is on the path to achieving climate goals by mandating that 70% of the state’s electricity generates from green sources. Developers and homeowners are expected to implement solar energy in their buildings but the state has other policies that make this goal feasible. 

Net Metering Policy 

  • The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has a net-metering policy that supports community and remote net metering. It promotes the use of solar systems and shared solar power in the state. The program ensures that all customers get paid for excess electricity sent to solar grids, and credits accrued are stored for future usage. This policy has been revised to the Value of Distributed Energy Resource (VDER) tariff, which will be implemented by January 2021. The VDER tariff is designed to support energy, environmental, capacity, and demand reduction credits for customers.

Solar Tax Credit 

  • The New York Solar Tax Credit policy allows state payment reductions by up to 25% of total solar energy expenses. This credit is available to owners and leasers of solar systems. Also, where the tax liability is not large enough to claim all the credit, it can be rolled over for the next year. This credit is beneficial because the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which applies to those who purchase their solar systems, allows federal tax liability reduction as high as 26% off the cost for the solar energy system. 

NY-Sun Initiative 

  • This initiative covers a range of solar industry support mechanisms. Policies under this umbrella include the Megawatt Block Incentive Structure which provides a dollars-per-watt ($/W) rebate. This rebate is available up-front, for both commercial and residential solar systems. In October 2018, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced $40 million in additional support for solar-plus-storage projects. The NY-Sun initiative has contributed to the progress in achieving 6GW of distributed solar by 2025.

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