On July 18, 2019, Governor Cuomo signed into law what is being billed as the “most aggressive climate law in the United States of America,” redefining the next 30 years of New York State’s energy landscape.
Key milestones include:
- 2025: 6,000 megawatts of solar to be deployed
- 2030: 70% of energy to come from renewables, 3,000 megawatts of energy storage to be deployed
- 2040: 100% of electricity to be carbon-free
- 2050: 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
New York has consistently ranked among the top ten states in solar development, but reaching the State’s ambitious new climate goals will require a sharp and consistent increase in renewable energy deployment.
This is especially relevant in hitting the 70% renewables by 2030 goal – energy demand is projected to surge with the electrification of transportation, so immediate action is necessary. To meet this goal, policymakers have launched significant economic incentives to make this a reality.
Currently, New York has a robust policy framework for solar system owners that provides a strong return on investment and will enable the state to make significant progress toward its green goals.
Solar Incentive Landscape
New York has traditionally incentivized solar through two complementary routes: legislative and regulatory. On the legislative side, policymakers allocate funds to the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (“NYSERDA”), which are in turn used directly in monetary rebates and performance-based incentives. NYSERDA’s current incentives include:
- NYC & Westchester: $600/kWdc upfront solar rebate, additional $300/kWdc upfront solar rebate for parking canopy development ($900/kWdc total), $300/kWh upfront battery storage rebate
- Upstate New York: $200/kWdc performance-based solar incentive, $200/kWh upfront battery storage rebate
- Long Island: $250/kWh upfront battery storage rebate
- Additional incentives for brownfield development
On the regulatory side, the Public Service Commission (“PSC”) directs the electrical utilities on how to compensate solar on a per-kWh basis and accommodate distributed energy on the electrical grid.
- Value Stack: The Value Stack tariff is New York State’s method of calculating the per-kWh value of distributed energy, based on the time of day it is generated, its location on the electrical grid (higher value for higher demand areas) and the environmental benefits of renewable generation. Since the updated Value Stack tariff was released in April 2019, the value of solar energy has seen a statewide jump, making the economics of investing in solar substantially more tenable than they have been over the past few years.
- Community Solar: New York State was one of the original pioneers of “Community Distributed Generation,” wherein solar system owners can sell monetary credits generated by solar production to residential offtakers. This is an attractive option for commercial hosts, because the per-kWh value of energy is higher for residential customers, and system owners with low onsite load can build larger systems than before.
New York City & Westchester, in particular, has become arguably the strongest solar market in the country. Development in and around New York City has fallen short of the State’s expectations to date, so NYSERDA and the PSC have in turn enhanced their respective incentive paths.
The economics of going solar have improved across all New York State markets, making now the ideal time to either evaluate or re-evaluate the opportunity to develop solar on your site. Headquartered in New York, EnterSolar is a leading national provider of solar energy and solar-plus-storage systems to the commercial marketplace. Our financing, engineering and project management teams work with each client to deliver a customized solar solution that provides a compelling return on investment. Contact us today to learn how your company can benefit from solar.