Under New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA),  New York (NY) has been forging ahead with solar incentives for large scale systems >200kW under a competitive Performance Based Incentive (PBI)  program to fund solar projects in order to meet certain renewable standards and goals of the state.  With recent news from NYSERDA webinars and correspondences, we anticipate a major change to the program, moving  from competitive bids to a fixed incentive price with a certain   total # of MW available at that price – very similar to the small scale <200kW program.  This is a major shift from previous programs where projects were required to bid for incentive dollars, which occasionally left project economics in jeopardy for the rights to an incentive.  There were also cases where those projects could not perform, which resulted in the money being returned to NYSERDA’s bank unused.

We anticipate that this change will have a dramatic and positive effect on the solar industry in NY because of this open policy incentive mechanism instead of a closed policy mechanism under the older competitive program – something Standard Solar applauds for market transparency and a healthy industry in NY.

  So, what could this mean for potential projects? 

 With a first come, first serve program, it creates a sense of urgency among developers in the NY solar industry, however, it can lead to many more opportunities for the industry as a whole. We would like to share this great news so you can have a head start in understanding the new program and the positive changes that it will bring.

Here are some of the changes we can anticipate with the implementation of the NYSERDA MW Block Program – We will keep you updated as the information continues to develop:

  • The expected release in 1st quarter of 2015
  • Open Policy Dashboard – provides a constant update on the incentive level at all times as well as how many MWs are left at that price
  • Project Maturity Need Apply – NYSERDA is looking for project maturity when it comes to your development.
    Here are some of the items that  may apply:

    • Signed Contract – Cash, PPA, or other financing (not just an LOI).
    • All Permits submitted or finalized
    • Interconnection agreements submitted or finalized
    • Potential incentive deposit after  certain timeframes of development have passed to keep incentive secured
    • Build by dates can be expected

The program seems to have matured and NYSERDA has taken the approach of looking for shovel ready projects now designed to assist you with project specifications in mind in order to finalize the many moving parts to the solar development process.  We look forward to the NYSERDA MW Block Program and recommend that the work towards project maturity begins today.