New York Solar Installation Rebates & Incentives
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) provides cash incentives for residential solar PV systems that are 25kW or less. Incentives will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis, and PV incentive applications will be accepted through December 31, 2023, or until funds are fully committed, whichever comes first. Total Incentives available is subject to change.
Federal Tax Incentive.
The Federal government offers Tax Credits on up to 30% of the cost of residential solar PV systems. The 30% is factored in after the NYSERDA Rebate, but there is no maximum for this credit. If the federal tax credit exceeds tax liability, the excess amount may be carried forward to the succeeding taxable year. Currently, the expiration date for this tax credit is 12/31/2016.
New York State Tax Incentive
New York State offers a Tax Credit on up to 25% of the cost of residential photovoltaic solar systems. The 25% is factored in after the NYSERDA rebate, with a maximum limit of $5,000.00.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is NY-Sun?
NY-Sun is part of the Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s commitment to protect the environment and lower energy costs for all New Yorkers by improving the efficiency and reliability of the electric grid. Governor Cuomo launched NY-Sun in 2012 to increase solar electric installations in the State. In April 2014, the Governor made a historic commitment of nearly $1 billion to NY-Sun, which will significantly expand deployment of solar capacity throughout the State and transform New York’s solar industry to a sustainable, subsidy-free sector. This scale-up is projected to make the solar industry self-sufficient in New York State, no longer requiring government subsidies as the cost of solar becomes comparable to the cost of electricity from the grid.
2. How much solar capacity does New York State have because of NY-Sun and how much more will it have in 2023?
In the first two years of NY-Sun, a total of 316 megawatts (MW) of solar electric was installed or is under contract, more than was installed in the entire prior decade. Approximately 116,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions will be avoided with the installation of the NY-Sun projects, which is the equivalent of removing 23,000 cars from the road. The expansion of NY-Sun, announced in April 2014, is expected to result in 3 gigawatts of installed capacity by 2023. This scale-up is projected to make the solar industry self-sufficient in New York State, no longer requiring government subsidies as the cost of solar becomes comparable to the cost of electricity from the grid.
3. How is New York State going to accomplish the NY-Sun goals?
The State has redesigned its solar programs using a Megawatt (MW) Block system that provides certainty and transparency regarding incentive levels to the industry, accounts for regional market differences, and provides a clear signal to industry that New York intends to eliminate cash incentives in a reasonable time frame and allows for the elimination of those incentives sooner in regions where market conditions can support it. The State also continues to invest in ways to decrease the cost of solar electric systems by reducing “balance-of-system costs,” which includes streamlining the inspection and permitting process and reducing upfront costs of installation and solar electric components other than the solar module.
4. How does the MW Block system work?
NYSERDA has begun transitioning to the statewide NY-Sun Incentive Program, using a Megawatt (MW) Block system, starting in August 2014 for solar electric systems up to 200kW in capacity and in early 2015 for systems larger than 200kW in solar capacity. The MW Block system allocates MW targets to three regions – Long Island, Con Edison territory and Upstate, with each regional block being divided into three sectors, specifically:
- Residential systems up to 25 kilowatts (kW)
- Nonresidential systems up to 200 kW
- Nonresidential systems larger than 200 kW (available in 2015)
Each region and sector is assigned a series of MW targets at certain incentive levels, referred to as blocks. As applications are submitted, incentives are assigned and the Kilowatt (kW) associated with the applications are added together. When the MW target for that block is reached, the block is closed and a new block, with a new MW target and a lower incentive level, is started. Once all of the blocks for a particular region and sector are filled, an incentive for that region and sector will no longer be offered.
Here’s an example of how the MW Block structure works:
If the first Upstate Residential block was for 40 MW and the incentive was $1/watt, once contracts are in place for those 40 MW, the second Upstate Residential block will be made available at a slightly lower incentive rate – 90 cents/watt. This decrease in incentives will continue with each new block.
5. What are the MW Block goals in the different regions?
The NY-Sun Incentive Program regional targets for solar electric systems under 200 kW are:
- Con Edison Territory: 302 MW for residential projects and 303 MW for small nonresidential projects.
- Upstate: 444 MW for residential projects and 451 MW for small nonresidential projects.
- Long Island: 122 MW for residential projects and 58 MW for small nonresidential projects
MW goals for large nonresidential projects will be determined for Con Edison and Upstate regions when these blocks are launched in 2015. Note that the NY-Sun Incentive Program does not include a block for systems larger than 200kW for customers served by PSEG Long Island.
6. Why are the MW Block goals different for different parts of the state?
The goals are based on the maturity of the markets in each region.
7. Will there still be a separate solar electric incentive program for smaller solar electric projects and a competitive PV program for larger projects going forward?
No, these NYSERDA programs are being transitioned into the MW block system. Residential solar projects of up to 25 kilowatts (kW) and nonresidential solar projects of up to 200 kW (formerly administered by the Solar Electric Incentive Program) are now receiving support through the NY-Sun Incentive Program, which uses the MW block system. Projects larger than 200 kW (formerly administered through the Competitive PV program) will receive support from the NY-Sun Incentive Program starting in 2015.
8. How can I participate in the NY-Sun Incentive Program?
Call us at (866) 798-4435 or fill out this form.
9. Is financing available to help pay for solar projects?
NYSERDA will facilitate access to financing as cash incentives are reduced and – ultimately – eliminated. Residential and small nonresidential customers may be able to qualify for financing for solar electric systems through Green Jobs-Green New York, and we can help you apply.
10. What is meant by balance-of-system costs?
Balance-of-system costs refer to costs of all aspects of installing the solar electric system with the exception of the solar electric modules themselves. This includes time and administrative costs associated with selling and signing a contract, system design and permitting, installation labor and component costs, inspections, travel to and from the installation site, and other costs of doing business. NYSERDA, NYPA, LIPA and PSEG Long Island are working with the solar electric industry, utilities, municipal leaders, training organizations, community-based organizations, financing organizations, and others to help permanently lower these costs. For example, the Community Solar and K-Solar programs introduced by Governor Cuomo in January 2014 are expected to make solar electric systems more accessible and affordable through community networks, aggregated purchasing, shared ownership/investment and other strategies. K-Solar applies these models to schools.
In addition, NYSERDA has been working with the City University of New York and others to streamline and standardize municipal permits for solar electric installations, which can then be adopted by municipalities for their own use. NYSERDA also supports research and development projects that will reduce the cost of installing solar electric, as well as projects to reduce costs to finance solar electric, increase the competitiveness of the solar electric marketplace, and allow consumers to make more informed solar electric purchasing decisions.
11. How much funding is there for balance-of-system (BOS) projects and what is the time frame for completion?
Between NYSERDA and New York Power Authority more than $50 million has been allocated for balance-of-system activities through 2016. In addition, the federal government has been investing in BOS cost reduction through its Solar Rooftops initiative for more than seven years.
12. How is NYPA involved in NY-Sun?
NYPA is administering the K-Solar program, under Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun Initiative. K-Solar is a joint partnership between NYPA and NYSERDA. Working with the New York State Education Department, K-Solar provides school districts with the tools and expertise necessary to bring solar energy to their facilities and reduce their energy costs.
In addition, NYPA and NYSERDA are coordinating on PowerUp Long Island, a partnership between state energy agencies and local utilities to support further development and deployment of clean and renewable energy sources on Long Island. This new initiative is designed to advance the region’s significant progress in integrating clean energy technologies to create efficient, reliable and affordable energy systems for Long Island’s communities.
NYPA, through its Solar Market Acceleration Program (Solar MAP), and NYSERDA are working together to advance technology and reduce the balance-of-system (BOS) solar electric costs in New York, which include all non-module solar costs such as installation and permitting.
13. Can New York Power Authority (NYPA) customers participate in the NY-Sun Incentive Program?
Yes, incentives are available for NYPA customers, which are mostly government buildings, municipalities and schools across the State. In addition to the NY-Sun incentives, NYPA also offers low-cost financing for solar projects at customer facilities and other public facilities statewide.
14. How is LIPA/PSEG Long Island involved in NY-Sun?
NYSERDA is the statewide administrator of the NY-Sun Incentive Program, and PSEG Long Island is the local administrator on Long Island. PSEG Long Island was involved in the MW Block system design process, it reviews and approves applications received by NYSERDA for LIPA customers and it works with installers on Long Island to approve projects, verify installations and inform NYSERDA when the projects are ready for payment. NYSERDA will perform these tasks for the other two regions of the State.
15. How much funding is available by region for the NY-Sun Incentive program?
Breakdown of funding available for the Residential and Small Business (under 200kW) MW Block Incentive program:
- Upstate residential and small nonresidential incentives: $425.5 million
- Con Edison residential and small nonresidential incentives: $197 million
- Long Island residential and small nonresidential incentives: $60 million
- NYPA projects: $20 million