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

Last updated: January 14, 2020

Program Overview

Implementing Sector:State
Category:Financial Incentive
State:New York
Incentive Type:Rebate Program
Web Site:http://ny-sun.ny.gov/
Administrator:New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
Funding Source:RPS surcharge and RGGI funding.
Start Date:08/12/2010
Expiration Date:12/29/2025
Utilities:Central Hudson Gas & Elec Corp, Consolidated Edison Co-NY Inc, Long Island Power Authority, New York State Elec & Gas Corp, Niagara Mohawk Power Corp., Orange & Rockland Utils Inc, Rochester Gas & Electric Corp
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:Solar Photovoltaics
Incentive Amount:Incentive rates step down over time as MW goals are met. Incentive rates as of 11/27/2019 are: Residential: Long Island Region: $0.00/W (MW blocks have been fully subscribed) Con Edison Region: $0.30/W Upstate Region: $0.35/W Low-to-Moderate income customers: $0.80/W (up to 10 kW) Small Commercial (Non-Residential): Long Island Region: $0.00/W (MW blocks have been fully subscribed) Con Edison Region: $0.60/W Up State Region: $0.45/W Multifamily Affordable Housing Adder: additional $0.40/W (up to 50 kW)
Eligible System Size:Residential: 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 Requirements:Systems 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 Requirements:System 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.


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

NOTE: A petition was submitted on November 25, 2019, to the New York Department of Public Service (DPS) requesting an additional $573 million and extending the program through 2025.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) through the 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 to support 3.175 GW of installed capacity by 2023, which has been expanded to 6 GW of installed capacity by 2025. The program provides cash incentives for residential solar systems that are 25 kW or less, and for small commercial systems in the 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 the 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 in the Con Edison and Upstate Regions receive $0.80/W up to an installed capacity of 10 kW. In the Long Island Region, where incentives are no longer available, the Affordable Solar incentive provides $0.40/W. Project capacity above 10 kW will receive the applicable residential incentive. Additionally, the Affordable Solar incentive is locked at the current level, and it does not drop with the residential incentive as more projects come online. 

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

Multifamily Affordable Housing Adder

Additional incentives are available for nonresidential projects serving multifamily affordable housing properties. In addition to the standard nonresidential incentive, eligible projects will receive an additional $0.30/W incentive for the first 50kW of the project. Project capacity above 50kW will receive the applicable nonresidential base incentive.

To receive this incentive, projects must be sited at an affordable housing property that has documented eligibility and offset the usage of the affordable housing property (behind-the-meter) or its residents (Community Distributed Generation from a system located on the property). For Community Distributed Generation projects on eligible properties with offsite subscribers, additional documentation demonstrating that project capacity will be dedicated to low-to-moderate income subscribers is required. More information about these additional criteria is available in the Program Manuals found 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. Before 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 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 the 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 the residential sector and 750 kW systems for the 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) to qualify for the program.

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