New York’s New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) opened up $25 million in incentives for solar hot water systems for residents and businesses on Dec. 13. It’s the state’s first solar thermal incentive program.
“Solar thermal is an issue we’ve been working on for a number of years,” said Gail Markels, New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA) executive director. “We’ve been working to encourage an incentive program, and we’re glad to see it happen.”
The first-come, first-serve program is accepting applications immediately, according to Markels. In fact, NYSERDA had already received two applications for the solar thermal program by Dec. 16. Markels said he expect to see about 400 installations made in 2011 and thousands by 2015.
The program, PON 2149, allows homeowners and commercial entities to receive incentives for installing solar hot water systems.
Under the program, New York residents can qualify for up to $4,000 for residential systems and up to $25,000 for non-residential systems to help residents convert from electric water heaters to solar water heaters.
“On average, incentives for a typical residential or commercial system are expected to cover approximately 15 to 20 percent of the installed cost of a [solar hot water] system,” the state said.
NYSERDA said the goal of the program is to install 45.54 megawatts of solar thermal capacity by Dec. 15, 2015, and applications will be accepted through that date, or until the $25 million is depleted.
To qualify for the rebate, the applicant must be a customer of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., New York State Electric & Gas Corporation, Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. and Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation who contribute to the Renewable Portfolio Standard/System Benefits Charge, according to the NYSERDA.
People must apply for the program before purchasing the system, the organization said. And the system must be installed by a qualified contractor. The contractor will receive the rebate and apply it directly to the cost of the solar hot water system and the installation costs.
“PON 2149 includes incentives needed to jump start the solar thermal market,” said Markels in a press release. “These incentives are an excellent first step in creating a robust solar thermal market and will help to continue to bring clean energy jobs and economic development to the state.”
Photo: Chris Meehan.