The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) provides incentives for eligible small wind systems. Incentive payments are paid directly to the eligible installers, who pass on the savings to the customers. Installers are generally limited to having 10 open applications at any given time under the current program (PON 2439) or previous programs (see PON 2439 for information on exceptions to this rule).
This program is offered as part of the Customer-Sited Tier of the state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) program. Consequently, only customers of electricity distribution utilities that collect the RPS surcharge -- Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., New York State Electric & Gas Corporation, National Grid, Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. and Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation -- and who pay the RPS surcharge on their electric bills are eligible for program incentives. Systems installed under third-party ownership arrangements are eligible for the program provided the host customer pays the RPS surcharge and contractual arrangement between the host and system owner passes the entire incentive along to the customer.
Wind turbines used for the proejct must be certified by the Interstate Advisory Council (ITAC) (certain exceptions might be allowed). The currently eligible models (this may change over time) range in size from 920 W to 243 kilowatts (kW rating at 11 m/s) although a customer may receive incentives for systems of up to 2 MW per site/customer. Systems are also limited to the capacity needed to meet 110% of historic on-site consumption. Customers eligible for remote net metering under a utility tariff may submit information on satellite accounts for the purpose of increasing the system size limit implied by this restriction. The incentive itself is based on the expected annual energy output of the system as calculated by the New York State Small windExplorer*, as follows:
Tier I: 10,000 kWh of expected annual energy production: $3.50/annual kWh
Tier II: 10,000 kWh - 125,000 kWh of expected annual energy production: $1.00/annual kWh
Tier III: 125,000 kWh - 1,000,000 kWh of expected annual energy production: $0.30/ annual kWh
Tier IV: Greater than 1,000,000 kWh of expected annual energy production: $0.15/ annual kWh
The incentives are additive, such that a wind turbine which is expected to produce 125,000 kWh annually receives the maximum Tier I incentive ($35,000 at 10,000 kWh) plus $1.00/annual kWh for up to 125,000 kWh through Tier II ($125,000 maximum), leading to a total maximum incentive of $160,000 ($35,000 + $125,000). Tier III systems receive the maximum Tier I and Tier II incentives ($160,000 total) plus $0.30/annual kWh for annual energy production in excess of 125,000 kWh. Incentives are capped at the lesser of $1 million per site/customer or 50% of installed system costs.
All systems must be new and grid-connected. Equipment eligibility restrictions also exist for power inverters, monitoring equipment, and other system components. In addition, various siting criteria, such as setbacks from residences and hub height above nearby obstacles, apply to all systems.
Incentives are paid in two installments. Sixty-five percent (65%) of the incentive is paid after the equipment is delivered to the installation site and all required permits, approvals, certificates, etc. from all jurisdictions having authority are secured. The remaining thirty-five (35%) is paid when the wind system is grid-connected and approved by your utility. NYSERDA reserves the right to review any installation prior to final incentive payment being made.
The current solicitation has a program budget of $13.8 million through December 31, 2015 (including a $1.5 million addition made by PSC order during 2012), with somewhat variable annual budgets. A total of $5.6 million in funding is set aside for systems with a rotor swept area of 200 square meters or less. The set-aside will be enforced for the first three quarters of each year, with any remaining funding returned to the general fund available for all turbines during the fourth quarter. Incentives provided to customers under this program may not be combined with any other incentive programs offered by NYSERDA that are designed to directly offset the cost of a wind installation. NYSERDA counts the environmental attributes associated with energy production by funded systems towards the state RPS target for the life of the system. For further program details, including application materials and information on additional requirements, visit the program web site listed at the top of this page.
*While building-mounted systems are potentially eligible for incentives under this program, program literature notes that this tool is not appropriate for building-mounted systems or those installed in an urban environment. For such systems, the installer must provide a detailed analysis of wind resources and expected energy output.