RENEWABLE ENERGY: N.Y.’s Cuomo aims to spur solar development with three signed bills

Andrew Cuomo

Colin Sullivan, E&E reporter. Published:

Andrew CuomoNEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed three solar bills last week before breaking for the summer weekend.The Democrat inked the package in an attempt to spur solar projects in the Empire State in line with its aggressive 45 percent renewable power target by 2015. All three bills are related to tax-exempt status for solar development.

The first, which takes effect immediately, makes a tax credit available of up to $5,000 for homeowners for the next 14 years. The credit applies to obtaining solar equipment through a lease or power-purchase agreement lasting at least 10 years.

The others will go into effect Jan. 1. They offer sales tax exemptions for the sale and installation of solar systems and extend property tax abatements in New York City for solar through 2014.

Cuomo in a statement said the bills would help build momentum for the state’s NY-Sun program and help meet the renewable targets.

Francis Murray Jr., president and chief executive of New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), followed that with a statement of his own on behalf of the bills, saying New York is “focused on expanding and developing its renewable energy resources, ensuring the state maintains a diverse renewable energy portfolio.”

Carrie Cullen Hitt, vice president for state affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association, applauded the package, noting that New York is sixth in the nation in photovoltaic installations but would likely climb higher with the new legislation in place.

SEIA also put in a plug for New York’s other policies on solar, including a feed-in tariff through the Long Island Power Authority, a customer-sited tiered program through NYSERDA, and net metering, which credits customers for excess power generated.

The bills were listed in Albany as A. 34-B, A. 10620 and A. 5522-B.



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