The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved more than $279 million over a five-year period for customer-sited renewable energy projects as part of the state's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) program.
The ratepayer-funded RPS initiative employs two programs to encourage the development of renewable energy. Both programs are administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. The bulk of the electricity is obtained through competitive procurements for large-scale renewable resources, known as the main tier.
The customer-sited tier promotes smaller, self-generation facilities located at residences and businesses. The customer-sited tier is designed to encourage emerging technologies to play a role in diversifying the state's energy mix, improve the environment, reduce demand during peak load times and stimulate economic development opportunities, the PSC says.
Funding amounts are as follows: solar photovoltaic ($144 million), solar thermal ($24.7 million)anaerobic digesters ($70.5 million), fuel cells ($21.6 million) and small wind ($18.1 million).
New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA) applauded the addition of solar thermal to the funding list. NYSEIA has lobbied the PSC to include solar thermal as an eligible technology.
New York now joins 13 other states to include solar thermal in RPS programs.
‘This is a landmark move that realizes the substantial benefits that solar thermal can provide to the New York economy and its renewable energy goals,’ says NYSEIA President Ron Kamen, senior vice president of EarthKind Solar.