Archive for the ‘New York’ Category

New York Solar Legislation Update

Posted September 21st, 2012 by SRECTrade.

A series of bipartisan bills were signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on August 20th aimed at supporting business and homeowner investments in solar energy.  We outline the bills below.

Bill 34-B, expands the 25% tax credit for non- 3rd party owners, lessees, and PPA off takers. The credit does not exceed $3,750 for “qualified solar energy system equipment expenditures” before September 1st, 2006 or $5,000 on “qualified solar energy system equipment expenditures” after September 1st 2006. Qualified solar expenditures include:

A) Solar equipment installed on a property in the state and is the principal residence of the taxpayer at the time of install.

B) A solar equipment lease of at least 10 years in New York and is the principal residence of the taxpayer at the time of install.

C) Power purchase agreement spanning at least 10 years in New York and is the principal residence of the taxpayer at the time of install.

D) The expenditures connected with installation and labor.

E) This does not include the interest or other finance charges of solar equipment purchase.

Bill A10620 allows a property tax abatement over a “compliance period” of four years available to solar-generating systems installed in cities of one million people or more. The bill covers:

A)  Installations before January 1st 2011 can receive a tax credit that is the lesser of:

    1. 8.75% of facility cost
    2. 8.75% total amount of taxes payable
    3. $62,500

B) Installations on or after January 1st 2011 and before January 1st 2013 can receive a tax credit that is the lesser of:

    1. 5% of facility cost
    2. 5% total amount of taxes payable
    3. $62,500

C) Installations on or after January 1st 2013 but before or on January 1st 2015 can receive a tax credit that is the lesser of:

    1. 2.5% of facility cost
    2. 2.5% total amount of taxes payable
    3. $62,500

Senate Bill S03203 exempts commercial solar energy system installation costs from state sales tax obligations. Additionally Senate Bill S03203 gives municipalities the power to grant certain systems a tax exemption.

On another note, the much anticipated, “NY Solar Jobs Act” legislation, formally bill A05713 has been watered down under a renamed Assembly Bill  A09149.  This new bill, proposed by Assemblyman Steven Englebright eliminates language creating a state-wide SREC market due to push back from the New York Senate and Governor’s office. Representatives from Steven Englebright’s office, maintain “cautious optimism” that the bill will gain support when the 2013 Legislative Session begins in January. As of September 7th,  the “Solar Jobs Act” is searching for a Senate sponsor.

Analysis of the bill can be found on VoteSolar.org here. The bill sets a solar target of 670 MW in 2015 and ramps up to 3,000 MW in 2021 but segments goals in to three separate requirements, based on type of utility. The bill allows the utilities the ability to define how they plan to achieve the solar mandate and does not specify interim solar requirements between 2015 and 2021.

 Utility Type  2015  2021
 Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs)  270 MW  900 MW
 New York Power Authority  120 MW  400 MW
 Long Island Power Authority  150 MW  500 MW

New York Solar Jobs Coalition Sets Aggressive Targets

Posted December 7th, 2011 by SRECTrade.

Solar industry representatives in New York are teaming up with organized labor and other environmental advocacy groups to put forth ambitious goals to build a sustainable solar industry in the Empire State. The organizations collectively form the New York Solar Jobs Coalition, and their agenda goes beyond just getting more solar power tied to the grid. The proposal supports strong labor protection and wage laws for solar industry jobs to attract a skilled workforce that will create a more independent energy infrastructure.

New York has been slow to implement solar targets for their energy sector, lagging behind neighboring states New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. Now, the Solar Jobs Coalition is calling for a program that will install 5,000 megawatts (MW) of solar power, or roughly 3% of the state’s energy portfolio, over a 15-year period. With the benefit of observing other state-based solar industries, the Coalition is wisely tying these targets to strong workforce standards that ensure efficient, quality work.

“Here in New York, we want to be able to do this work in a way that is cost efficient and that we attract the people with the highest skill,” stated Denis Hughes of the AFL-CIO in a local public radio interview last week.

The legislation supported by the Coalition would create an SREC market that differs from other neighboring states as well. The new SREC market would support distributed generation from residential and small commercial systems by requiring a minimum of 20% of eligible SRECs to come from systems under 50 kW. To attract financing, particularly for large-scale projects, utilities would be required to offer long-term contracts for periods up to 15 years, subject to negotiation for exact length and pricing. The one potential weakness of the proposed legislation is that it does not set a non-compliance penalty, or ACP, that would push buyers into the market and set a price ceiling for the SRECs.

Leaning on Governor Cuomo and state legislators, the Coalition predicts their proposal will build a $20 billion industry to New York while increasing the state’s  energy independence and reducing its carbon footprint. The Coalition has garnered support from national and state chapters of solar industry representatives, organized labor, and environmental advocacy groups.

DC Closes Borders to Out-of-State Solar Systems

Posted July 12th, 2011 by SRECTrade.

The Council of the District of Columbia unanimously voted, today July 12th, to close the DC SREC market to out-of-state systems. The Distributed Generation Amendment Act of 2011 (Bill 19-10) increases the SREC requirement in 2011 as well as establishes an SACP schedule through 2023.  Once in effect, the bill will allow out-of-state systems registered prior to 1/31/2011 to continue to sell SRECs in the DC market. The DC Public Services Commission has not provided clarification on how the bill will affect out of state systems that have already granted DC registrations after the January 31st 2011 grandfather date. For more information on the bill please refer to our previous blog postings here and here.

The bill is not yet law. It first must go through a 30-day Congressional Review process before it can go in to effect. Given these mechanistic delays we don’t expect the bill to go in to effect for at least another month.

The following chart illustrates which out-of-state systems will be effected by the legislation.


State Eligible Markets (after B19-10 is effective)
DE DE, PA
IN OH; PA (if in American Electric Power territory)
IL PA (if in Com Ed territory)
KY OH; PA (if in American Electric Power territory)
MD MD; PA
MI OH; PA (if in American Electric Power territory)
NC NC; PA (if in Dominion Electric Territory)
NJ NJ, PA
NY
OH OH; PA
PA PA; OH
TN PA (if in American Electric Power territory)
VA PA
WV OH; PA
WI

NY SREC market put on hold

Posted June 28th, 2011 by SRECTrade.

The New York State Assembly’s session ended on Friday, June 24th without the passing of the New York Solar Industry and Jobs Act, which would have established an SREC market in New York beginning in 2013. The bill is the assembly’s latest iteration of State Senate Bill S.4178A, which we covered in a blog post in May. Since then, the bill has received several edits:

*The compliance schedule for the implementation of solar has changed, with the first year’s targets reduced from a .33% solar requirement to a .15% requirement. The 2020 target of 1.5% solar has remained unchanged.

*The original $300 price floor for state-sponsored SREC sales has been removed, and SRECs will simply expire after 2 years.

*A multiplier making SRECs generated within a utility’s distribution region worth 1.5 the value of SRECs generated outside the distribution region was added.

Unfortunately, this important legislation will not be able to be addressed until the start of the 2012 session. Until then, the prospect of a NY SREC market has been put on hold.

SRECs coming to NY?

Posted May 23rd, 2011 by SRECTrade.

This year’s solar carve-out bill introduced in NY, S4178A-2011, is looking promising.  It was co-sponsored by 8 Republicans, and since the Republicans have only a small majority in the Senate and the Democrats have nearly a supermajority in the NY House, its a good sign, although it’s notoriously difficult to get a bill that even everyone agrees with through the NY legislature.  Gov. Cuomo ran on a strong solar platform so chances are high he will sign any bill that comes to him.  The bill itself is very promising, it starts out with a .33% requirement in 2012, which given the size of NY’s load would catapult them even with NJ in absolute terms for required solar build-out with about a 500,000 MWh requirement in 2012.  It allows the NY Public Service Commission (PSC) to set the alternate compliance (ACP) schedule, but it has a floor mechanism specified at $300 that is nearly identical to Massachusetts, so the ACP will have to be somewhat higher than that.  Overall this is a well-written bill that meets almost all the Effective SREC Market Design criteria outlined in our recent blog post.  As of May 18th it had been amended and recommitted to the Energy and Telecommunications Committee,  so there is plenty of time for those living in New York to contact their legislators regarding the bill.

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Important New York SREC Update

Posted October 20th, 2010 by SRECTrade.

Good news for New York solar owners: SRECTrade was recently notified by the DC Public Service Commission that they are now accepting SRECs from facilities located in the state of New York.  We initially wrote about this several months ago and submitted applications that were subsequently rejected due to an inconsistency in the DC rules.  This inconsistency has been fixed and New York facilities can now be approved. In order to apply, your facility must be eligible to claim ownership for the SRECs that are generated (NYSERDA claims ownership of SRECs created by facilities funded by the program for a period of 3 years, after which the owner is eligible to generate and sell SRECs).

The bad news… act soon: Per the rules of the DC SREC programs, facilities are able to receive credit for generation dating back to the first month of the current energy year.  In order to receive credit for generation in 2010, all applications should be submitted to the DC Public Service Commission as quickly as possible so that the Commission has ample time to approve your facility by December 31st. Receiving approval by December 31st will allow your facility to be credited with SRECs as far back as January 1st, 2010.

Due to this time constraint, SRECTrade recommends owners submit applications directly to the DC Public Service Commission. The DC registration process requires an original and notarized application mailed directly to the DC Public Service Commission. Once approved, you can then apply for the EasyREC program.

Instructions for submitting an application to the DC SREC Program:
1. Download and complete the DC RPS Application.

2. Once you have completed the application and had the affidavit of general compliance notarized, mail the original to:

Dorothy Wideman
Commission Secretary
Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia
1333 H Street, N.W
2nd Floor West Tower
Washington, D.C. 20005

Cautionary comment on the DC SREC Market: The DC SREC market is a relatively small market.  Although SRECs are currently selling around $300, the market may soon be over-subscribed. This is due to the significant supply that can be drawn from several states across the region. In addition, DC allows solar thermal facilities to count generation towards the SREC requirement. For these reasons, buyers in the DC SREC market will eventually be able to meet their requirements with ease, which would lead to a potential significant drop in pricing.  The states eligible for the DC market include:

Delaware
Indiana
Illinois
Kentucky
Maryland
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Pennsylvania
Tennessee
Virginia
West Virginia
Wisconsin

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NY SRECs Expected to be Eligible for DC Market

Posted September 16th, 2010 by SRECTrade.

The District of Columbia Public Services Commission has been revising the language of the state RPS, and details are expected to be released at the beginning of October.  Currently, a discrepancy in the wording of the RPS makes the eligibility of PJM-bordering states, such as New York, unclear.  This ambiguity led to the rejection of New York solar facilities earlier this year, and has effectively halted the certification of NY facilities in DC.  We expect that this revision will clarify the status of New York systems, making them eligible for the DC SREC market.  As soon as concrete details are released, SRECTrade will resume registering New York facilities in DC as a part of our EasyREC program.

Although prices in the DC market are close to $300 per SREC, the market is small.  In 2010, a total of approximately 3 megawatts must be installed in order to meet the requirement.  That number grows to 15 megawatts in 5 years.  Considering that facilities in the entire PJM region and adjacent territories are eligible for the DC market, it is quite possible that this market becomes oversubscribed in the future. We foresee the DC market as a viable option for smaller solar facilities for now, but in the long-run, it will be difficult for the solar industry in New York to rely on the DC market. The long-term solution for New York is to pass the Solar Jobs Act that is currently pending in the senate. Hopefully it will pass this fall and create one of the largest SREC markets in the nation.

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NY Candidate for Governor Suggests SREC Program in Energy Plan

Posted August 12th, 2010 by SRECTrade.

Andrew Cuomo, the New York attorney general and Democratic candidate for governor, published an energy plan that suggests increased production of solar and wind energy.  The document, titled “Power NY,” suggests New York adopt an SREC program similar to those that have been so successful in other states such as New Jersey. It declares, “A programmatic commitment to solar power would go a long way toward stimulating the growing solar industry in New York.” Cuomo sites that significant economic growth experienced by California and Arizona upon making commitments to promote expansion of solar power within the states. Both states saw global solar manufacturers locate headquarters within their boarders (China’s Suntech Corp. in Arizona, and SunPower Corp. in California).

The candidate’s plan would create a system of solar renewable energy credits called NY-Sun. The Renewable Portfolio Standard of the state would include a solar carve-out, making utilities purchase SRECs to meet their solar requirement or suffer a compliance fine. He argues that the state should establish specific targets for the adoption of solar energy generation that utilities and electric service companies would have to meet, with the requirements to be suspended if solar costs do not drop to the extent expected.

Mr. Cuomo is the first candidate in the race for Governor to release an energy plan. The length and centrality of the document to the campaign indicates the importance of the worldwide energy transformation in the future of New York.

See the article on the Gubernatorial Candidate’s solar and SREC plan for more information.

Solar Bill Could Create New York SREC Market

Posted June 16th, 2010 by SRECTrade.

A strong solar bill currently moving through the state senate has the potential to make New York a national solar leader. The New York Solar Jobs Act of 2010 establishes aggressive annual solar capacity targets, reaching 2.5% of the state’s total energy–an estimated 5GW–by 2025.

The legislation would also provide a strong economic opportunity in the state. According to NREL’s Job and Economic Development model, the program will support about 22,000 jobs. On top of this, New York is expected receive a $20 billion boost to its economy. Independent energy consultants from Crossborder Energy estimated the cost of the program to be a 39 cent increase in each NY resident’s energy bill.

If this bill is passed into law, New York will be in position for a robust SREC market. SRECTrade already has a presence with many New York solar companies, and as soon as this bill is passed we will be working toward establishing a market for SRECs in the state.

For more information on the bill, find the complete article here.


New York bill to create NY SREC program

Posted June 4th, 2010 by SRECTrade.

The New York state legislature has proposed a renewable portfolio standard with a solar carve out. Bill No. A11004 in State Assembly and Bill No. S7093 in the State Senate (jointly know as New York Solar Industry Development and Jobs Act of 2010) would require electric suppliers to purchase SRECs for 0.05% of their electric sales 2012, increasing gradually to 2.50% in 2025.

New York has traditionally used solar rebates and utility level solar incentives and is now considering in light of their success in states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The SREC requirement proposed for NY are similar to those enacted in NJ and MD although NY is a significantly bigger population and power consumer. This RPS would dramatically increase the demand for solar renewable energy credits and take some of the pressure of the markets like DC that are currently the only home for the SRECs produce by solar PV installations in New York State.