Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Clean energy CHP and fuel cell technologies now eligible for net metering in NYS

The New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) has approved tariff filings of the six investor-owned utilities in New York to encourage the installation of residential micro-combined heat and power (micro-CHP) and fuel cell electric generating systems that will enable homeowners to sell excess power to the utility.

"By encouraging homeowners to install small-scale renewable energy systems, and to allow the excess power to be sold to the utility, will provide long-term benefits to the environment and the economy," said Commission Chairman Garry Brown. "As a result of our decision today, a homeowner can install these newest technologies and receive a credit from the utility for the excess electricity that's been created, or sell it to the utility and pocket the money - the choice is theirs."

The utilities participating in this net metering initiative include Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., National Grid, New York State Electric & Gas Corporation, Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc., and Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation. With the Commission's decision, the tariffs that the utilities have filed will be updated to add to the list of eligible technologies than can be net metered.

To further encourage development of net metering opportunities, the Standardized Interconnection Requirements (SIR) for distributed generation units operating in parallel with the electric utility distribution system that both utilities and customers are required to follow was revised to incorporate the net metering modifications for micro-CHP and fuel cell systems.

Under Public Service Law, a residential applicant proposing to install a micro-CHP or a fuel cell electric generating system may not exceed 10 kilowatts, and the installation must be located and used at the applicant's premises. Eligible micro-CHPs are an integrated, co-generating building heating and electrical power generation system, operating on any fuel and of any applicable engine, fuel cell, or other technology, with a rated capacity of at least one kilowatt and not more than 10 kilowatts electric and any thermal output that at full load has a design total fuel use efficiency in the production of heat and electricity of not less than 80 percent, and annually produces at least 2,000 kilowatt hours of useful energy in the form of electricity that may work in combination with supplemental or parallel conventional heating systems.

Eligible fuel cell electric generating equipment are solid oxide, molten carbonate, proton exchange membrane or phosphoric acid fuel cells with a combined rated capacity of not more than 10 kilowatts that is manufactured, installed and operated in accordance with applicable government and industry standards, that is connected to the electric system and operated in parallel with an electric corporation's transmission and distribution facilities.