Q. What is NY-Sun?

A. NY-Sun is an initiative announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to increase solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in New York State. The goals of the NY-Sun Initiative are to install in 2012 twice the customer-sited PV capacity that was added during 2011 and to quadruple that amount in 2013 through expanded competitive and open enrollment opportunities. This is to be accomplished while continuing to establish New York’s technology leadership in this emerging market and keeping an eye on costs to protect the rate payer.

Q. How much solar capacity will New York State have because of NY-Sun?

A. 58 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity were installed during 2012. Based on NY-Sun goals, NY-Sun requires that 120 MW be added in 2013 (quadruple the 2011 installed capacity).

Q. How is New York State going to accomplish these goals?

A. The state is (1) expanding existing PV incentive programs and (2) investing in research to find ways to decrease the cost of PV systems by reducing “balance-of-system costs,” which include costs of installation and PV components other than the solar module.

Q. What is meant by Balance-of-System?

A. Balance-of-System refers to technology advancement and system cost-reduction programs to reduce PV costs in New York, including installation and all non-module costs.

Q. How much additional PV funding has been approved for NYSERDA, and how much in total PV funding will NYSERDA have as a result?

A. In 2011, NYSERDA had $54 million annually for PV incentives - $24 million for its open enrollment program for smaller and medium-scale PV systems, and up to $30 million for its competitively bid performance-based program for larger-scale PV systems. In 2012, the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) doubled this funding to $108 million per year. Through 2015, NYSERDA’s PV programs will have a total of $432 million available for incentives.

Q. What will be the split between upstate and downstate in the program for the larger scale NYSERDA competitive bidding program going forward?

A. The NY-Sun Competitive Program is administered using funds derived from both the Geographic Balance initiative and the NY-Sun expansion initiative. Together, these sources represent a budget of approximately $70 million per year as currently authorized for calendar years 2014 and 2015, which, as established by NYSPSC Order April 24, 2012, in Case 03-E-0188, has been allocated as $20.25 million for NYISO zonegroup AF (upstate), $8.375 million for NYISO zonegroup GH (lower Hudson Valley), and $41.875 million for NYISO zonegroup IJ (downstate). See the chart below for funding in different NYISO zones. A-F are upstate, G and H are Hudson Valley, I and J are New York City and Yonkers.
Zone Group 2011 2012 2013 2014 (est.) 2015 (est.) Total 2012 - 2015* (est.)
A - F - $18.2 M $20.3 M $20.3 M $20.3 M $79.0 M
G & H $5 M $8.0 M $8.4 M $8.4 M $8.4 M $33.2 M
I & J $25 M $40.2 M $41.9 M $41.9 M $41.9 M $165.8 M
Total $30 M $66.4 M $70.5 M $70.5 M $70.5 M $277.9 M
*Totals may not sum exactly due to rounding

Q. How can I participate in the NY-Sun Open Enrollment Solar PV Program?

A. Program Opportunity Notice (PON) for the NY-Sun Open Enrollment Solar PV Program is available on NYSERDA's web site, http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/Funding-Opportunities/Current-Funding-Opportunities/PON-2112-Solar-PV-Program-Financial-Incentives.aspx.

Q. How much funding is there for balance-of-system (BOS) projects and what is the time frame for completion?

A. Between NYSERDA and NYPA, there is currently at least $50 million allocated for balance-of-system activities through 2016.

Q. How is NYPA involved in NY-Sun?

A. NYPA and NYSERDA are working together to advance technology and reduce the balance-of-system PV costs (BOS) in New York, including installation and all non-module costs. This is part of NYPA’s Solar Market Acceleration Program (Solar MAP). The program will provide funding for the NYPA-NYSERDA collaborative (NY-Sun BOS) and for additional solar research and demonstration projects aimed at reducing solar costs and for improving solar integration with the electricity grid.

Q. How is LIPA involved in NY-Sun?

A. LIPA is expanding its solar deployment programs—both its open enrollment program for small- to medium-scale systems funding, which provides $27 million annually (subject to annual LIPA Board approval), and its Clean Solar Initiative (CSI) Feed-In Tariff (FIT) for medium- to large-scale systems

Q. What is the CLEAN Solar Initiative (CSI) Feed-In Tariff (FIT)?

A. The CSI is New York State’s first feed-in tariff program, which is a performance-based incentive to help grow mid-to-large solar installations. Through June 20, 2014, LIPA will purchase up to 50 MW of solar generation produced on its customers' premises. Through a Power Purchase Agreement, LIPA will pay the customer a fixed rate for every solar kilowatt hour generated over a 20-year term. The CSI builds off the success of LIPA's Solar Pioneer and Entrepreneur Program and its first 50 MW utility-scale project, which was achieved through the issuance of a Request for Proposal.

Q. What is a feed-in tariff program?

A. Also called a "standard offer," the feed-in tariff program is a performance-based incentive to help grow mid-to-large solar installations.

Q. How much funding will LIPA now have for its open enrollment program for small- to medium-size solar installations?

A. $27 million annually (subject to annual LIPA Board approval).