$150 Million is Available Over 5 Years to Fund Renewable Energy in NYC, Westchester, Lower Hudson Valley
April 19, 2011
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is encouraging businesses, schools and other large facilities to take advantage of a special renewable energy incentive program specifically for New York City and the lower the Hudson Valley for large-scale photovoltaic and biogas power initiatives.
NYSERDA is investing $150 million over the next five years in the program and will award up to $30 million a year, of which $25 million is targeted for New York City or southern Westchester County.
The idea is to promote more clean-energy production in a part of the state that traditionally has been a large consumer of fossil fuels. The projects could be used at large businesses, especially manufacturing facilities; and colleges, universities or other schools.
Through a competitive process, NYSERDA will select proposals that involve one of the following technologies:
- grid-connected photovoltaic systems (solar energy to power electricity) greater than 50 kilowatts.
- high-capacity-factor electric generation projects greater than 50 kilowatts that use biogas created through anaerobic digestion. Power can be generated from biogas produced on-site, or from biogas transported from another location via pipeline.
The incentive pays up to $3 million per site, or 50 percent of the cost of the project, whichever is less. Applications have been available since late March and are due May 24 for the first round of the program. If any funding is left, a second round of applications will be due August 10.
The projects are meant to produce power for on-site use, not for direct sale to the electric grid. However, under certain circumstances, unused power can be added to the grid in exchange for future utility credit.
“No other region of the state has its own special renewable energy funding allocation. By focusing on New York City and surrounding areas, this program will help make the most populous part of the state more energy efficient,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. “The projects supported by programs like these will continue to take New York on the path toward energy independence while growing clean-energy jobs in the state.”
To qualify for the program, the biogas fuel must be produced by anaerobic digestion facilities, often installed at wastewater treatment centers, which can create biogas as a result of the waste treatment process. Additionally, food manufacturers or farms could use anaerobic digestion to treat their wastes and produce biogas. Production of biogas has the extra advantage of creating heat as a byproduct, which can be used to improve the efficiency of the gas-powered electric generator. NYSERDA encourages the installation of systems that recover by-product heat as well as those that continue to provide the site with electric power during a grid outage.
NYSERDA is looking for high-capacity-factor biogas facilities – facilities that are going to be used at their maximum output for most of the year.
The program is funded under the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The RPS, created by the state Public Service Commission in 2004 to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, is administered by NYSERDA using a surcharge collected from ratepayers served by investor-owned utility companies. The funds help pay for more than a thousand clean-energy projects every year, ranging from large-scale wind farms to photovoltaic panels on private homes.
The funding is available to New York ratepayers who pay the RPS charge and can qualify based on the size of their facility.
For more information on this incentive see PON 2156.
NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York since 1975.
Last Updated: 01/21/2014