Significant growth in the Long Island residential solar market achieves NY-Sun target to create self-sustaining solar industry, eliminate the need for public incentives
Support for solar continues through tax credits, net metering, and affordable financing for underserved communities
April 19, 2016
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced 320 percent growth in the residential solar market on Long Island since 2012. Due to this significant growth, the region’s residential market is now self-sufficient and able to function without public subsidies available through NY-Sun. Long Island is the first region in the state to meet its residential solar target, and will continue to receive assistance through tax credits, affordable financing for underserved communities, and other supporting regulations.
NY-Sun was designed to stimulate solar growth and build a self-sustaining solar industry across the state. NY-Sun’s MW Block Program divided the State into three geographic regions, each with incentives allocated based on the maturity of the market, and with the level of incentives declining over time as pre-set targets were met.
John B. Rhodes, President and CEO of NYSERDA, said, “The tremendous growth of solar on Long Island under Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative has greatly expanded the use of clean, sustainable energy in the region. Long Island’s solar industry is strong and actively serving the growing clean energy market, and we know this momentum will continue.”
The NY-Sun MW Block program is intended to respond to changing market conditions in a predictable and transparent manner, and to allow the solar market in each region to grow at its own pace. The strategy to decrease incentives over time as targets are met, with an understanding these incentives will eventually be eliminated, is based on the strength of the market’s ability to be self-sustaining.
Long Island’s NY-Sun Residential MW Block capacity was 139 MW over four residential blocks. The level of incentive in the region decreased from $0.50 per watt in block one, which opened Jan. 1, 2014, to $0.20 per watt in block four, which began April 24, 2015, with two intermediate steps in between.
Other financial incentives and programs supporting residential solar installations are still available to Long Island residents, including state and federal tax credits, Affordable Solar for low- to moderate-income households, and the Solarize North Hempstead and Solarize Southampton campaigns. Through net metering, solar customers may also reduce costs if a solar energy system produces more electricity than their home requires.
In addition, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) Board recently approved community net metering, which will offer opportunities for solar developers to build large off-site projects that residents can buy into or lease portions of to reduce their energy bills, and on-bill financing is expected to be available to Long Island customers through PSEG Long Island this summer.
NY-Sun has accelerated the growth of solar across the State, with the amount of solar power installed and in development under the Governor’s NY-Sun initiative increasing 575 percent from 2012 through 2015. New York’s solar industry is the fourth largest in the nation and employs more than 8,250 workers, an increase of more than 3,000 jobs since 2013. In 2016, double-digit job growth is expected to continue with another 1,000 additional jobs created as a result of the state’s robust solar project pipeline.
About Reforming the Energy Vision
Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York’s economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency and generating 50% of the state’s electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030. Already, REV has driven 600% growth in the statewide solar market, enabled over 105,000 low-income households to permanently cut their energy bills with energy efficiency, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors. REV is ensuring New York State reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 and achieves the internationally-recognized target of reducing emissions 80% by 2050. To learn more about REV, including the Governor’s $5 billion investment in clean energy technology and innovation, please visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow us at @Rev4NY.
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