NY-Sun PV Incentive Program (Residential, Low-Income, and Small Business)

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Program NameNY-Sun PV Incentive Program (Residential, Low-Income, and Small Business)
Program AdministratorNew York State Energy Research and Development Authority
SectorCommercial, Construction, Federal Government, Industrial, Installers/Contractors, Institutional, Integrators, Local Government, Low Income Residential, Nonprofit, Residential, Schools, State Government
Budget$762 M through 2023
End dateDecember 29th, 2023
Last updatedJuly 2nd, 2018

NOTE: Effective June 2018, the program was revised with changes to system size caps, new incentive rates, removal of 110% demand rule, and other minor changes.  

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) through NY Sun Incentive Program (PON 2112) provides cash incentives for the installation of approved, grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems. The program was re-launched in 2014 with a goal of supporting 3.175 GW of installed capacity by 2023. The program provides cash incentives for residential solar systems that are 25 kW or less, and for small commercial systems in Upstate and PSEG Long Island region that are 750kW or less and non-residential sites in the Con Ed region up to 7.5MW or less.  NY-Sun solar incentives are designed to phase out in a controlled and predictable manner over time depending on installed solar capacity in the given region. 

Program Description 

NYSERDA has established separate megawatt (MW) budgets for different regions of the state. These MW block targets are specified for three regions: areas served by Con Edison, areas served by PSEG Long Island, and for the rest of the state. The block incentives are set based on historical demand, market penetration, installed cost per watt, and equity on a regional basis. The incentives available within each MW Block are scheduled to step down over time as certain targets are met.

Information on the MW block design, including real-time data on the current incentive levels for Upstate can be found by visiting NYSERDA dashboard and similar dashboard for other regions. 

Customers of investor-owned utilities, including Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, New York State Electric & Gas Corporation, Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, Orange and Rockland Utilities, Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation, and PSEG Long Island are eligible to participate, as well as customers of NYPA and municipally-owned utilities.

Affordable Solar

The program provides additional incentives for low-to-moderate income households. To be eligible, the applicant must have a household income that is less than 80% of the State Median Income (SMI) or Area Median Income (AMI), whichever is greater. Such qualifying households receive double the standard incentive amount for systems up to 6kW.  Additional incentives includes a standard incentive of $0.80/W in upstate and Long Island region and $0.40/W in Long Island Region. 

Residential, small commercial, and not-for-profit organizations are also eligible for low-interest rate financing. More information about financing is available here

Incentive Payment

Contractors reserve incentives for approved systems for customers on a first-come, first-served basis for as long as funds are available. Prior to installing a PV system, contractors must provide customers with information and basic assistance in understanding possible energy efficiency improvements and benefits, although energy efficiency measure installation is not required for program participation.

Incentives are paid to the contractor after the PV system has been connected to the utility grid. Small commercial projects have the option the option to receive the incentive in two increments based on installation milestones. The first incentive payment includes 75% of the total incentive amount approved by NYSERDA, which is paid out after all system components are delivered to a customer’s site. The second incentive payment includes remaining 25%, which are released after a PV system has been connected to the utility grid and inspected by NYSERDA or its representatives.

System Eligibility 

The program supports a maximum of 25 kW solar PV systems for residential sector and 750 kW systems for non-residential sector (7.5MW in Con Ed). Incentives are only available to eligible contractors, and incentives must be passed on in full amount to the customers. Residential PV systems must be sized to meet specific site energy needs (local load or demand) and may not exceed 110% of the demonstrated energy demand for the site, taking into account any other on-site electrical power generation systems. Incentive levels will be reduced in proportion to potential output losses of greater than 20%. 

Contractor/ Builder Requirements

Contractor/Builder eligibility is determined and maintained based on factors such as acceptance of all program terms and conditions, training, installation experience, track record related to utility interconnections, overall performance, monitoring, customer references, customer satisfaction, and commitment to become certified through a national certification program. NYSERDA provides accredited training opportunities for PV installers. Training opportunities are posted on NYSERDA's Renewable Energy Training web site. All builders must have credentialing from Underwriters Labs (UL), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) or the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) in order to qualify for the program.

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Incentive AmountIncentive rates step down over time as MW goals are met. Incentive rates as of 08/08/2017 are:

Long Island Region: $0.00/W (MW blocks have been fully subscribed)
Con Edison Region: $0.40/W
Up State Region: $0.35/W
Low-to-Moderate income customers: Double the standard incentive amount (up to 6 kW)

Small Commercial (Non-Residential): Long Island Region: $0.25/W - $0.23/W
Con Edison Region: $0.70/W - $0.45/W
Up State Region: $0.40/W - $0.30/W

Eligible System SizeResidential: Maximum incentive based on the lesser of 25 kW or 110% of demonstrated energy demand
Small Commerical (Non-Residential): Maximum incentive based on the lesser of 750 kW
Systems in Con Ed can receive incentives for size up to 7.5MW
Equipment RequirementsSystems and components must be new; modules and inverters must meet applicable UL and IEEE standards; monitoring equipment with accuracy of +/- 5% required; minimum five-year system warranty against breakdown or degradation of more than 10% from original rated output; two-year warranty on battery back-up systems. For Power Purchase Agreements and Leases a Production guarantee for the term of the agreement is required.
Installation RequirementsSystem must be a grid-connected, end-use application; be installed by a pre-approved contractor; and comply with New York's Standard Interconnection Requirements and all federal, state and local codes.
Data courtesy the fine people at DSIRE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

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