On August 4, 2011, the Power New York Act of 2011 (the Act) was signed into law. Section 22 of the Act directed NYSERDA to conduct a Study on Increasing Generation from Photovoltaic Devices in New York (the Solar Study). While the current contribution of solar electric (PV) energy generation is small and the cost of the technology is at a premium compared with market electricity prices, the Act sought analysis of the benefits and costs of PV, acknowledging that costs are declining and noting the potential for PV energy generation to contribute to economic development and job creation in the State.
The Act directed NYSERDA to conduct, in consultation with the Department of Public Service, a study regarding policy options that could be used to achieve goals (the Goals) of 2,500 MW of installed capacity operating by 2020 and 5,000 MW operating by 2025. The Act called for NYSERDA to report to the Governor and the legislature on or before January 31, 2012 regarding the Solar Study’s findings and recommendations. Specifically, the Act directed that the Solar Study should: 1) Identify administrative and policy options that could be used to achieve the Goals, 2) Estimate the per-megawatt cost of achieving increased generation from PV devices and the costs of achieving the Goals using the options identified in the analysis, 3) Analyze the net economic and job creation benefits of achieving the Goals using each of the options identified in the analysis, and 4) Conduct an analysis of the environmental benefits of achieving the Goals using the options identified in the analysis.