Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nearly $21 million approved for solar, anaerobic digesters, fuel cells and small wind projects

The New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) has approved approximately $20.9 million in interim funding for the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) program for the period January 1, 2010 through June 30, 2010. The money will fund incentives for solar photovoltaic (solar PV), anaerobic digester, fuel cell and small wind installations under the Customer-Sited Tier (CST) of the RPS program.
In addition to approving the interim funding, the Commission re-authorized the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to solicit new applications for RPS funding, to be allocated as follows: $12 million for solar PV; $6 million for anaerobic digester biogas systems; $1.8 million for fuel cells; $0.3 million for small wind installations; and $0.83 million for program administration, evaluation, measurement and verification.

The Commission noted that the solar PV program poses some unique challenges which need to be addressed as part of any additional commitment for funding. As a result, the Commission will impose conditions on the administration of the solar PV program to include a monthly spending amount of $2 million through June 2010, wherein, no new applications may be accepted in a month when the applications for that month already equal or exceed the available funds. The per-watt incentive for solar PV project will vary monthly as further prescribed by the Commission. The incentive may not exceed $1.75 per watt per month, unless the incentive is too low to attract sufficient applications.

As part of the mid-course review of the RPS program, the Commission in December expanded the RPS goal to increase the proportion of renewable generation to 30 percent of projected electricity consumption by 2015, authorized a renewable resource solicitation of approximately $200 million, provided new funding up to $30 million annually for larger-scale downstate solar PV, anaerobic digester and fuel cell projects to assure a level of geographic balance in the RPS program.