New York Renewable Portfolio Standard
A Clean, Green Tomorrow Starts Today
A Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) is a policy that seeks to increase the proportion of renewable electricity used by retail customers. New York has adopted an aggressive goal of obtaining electricity from renewable sources. RPS energy targets fall into three groups:
- Main Tier or Large Scale Generators - Large scaled generators that sell power to the wholesale grid or in some cases generate power for onsite use.
- Customer-Sited Tier - Small scaled generators such as a photovoltaic (PV) system on a residence
- Other Market Activities - Individuals and businesses that choose to pay a premium on their electricity bill to support renewable energy and state agencies that are subject to renewable energy purchasing requirements through similar policies.
NYSERDA is responsible for administering the Main Tier and the Customer Sited Tier aspects of the program.
Main Tier / Large Scale Generators
Through seven solicitations, the Main Tier has 56 active projects under contract totaling 1,842 MW of new renewable capacity. Active Main Tier projects by resource include:
- 11 Landfill Gas Projects totaling 61.7 MW
- 3 Biomass Projects totaling 74.3 MW
- 25 Hydroelectric Projects totaling 51.3 MW
- 17 Wind Projects totaling 1,654.2 MW
The power generated from these 56 projects is expected to provide enough clean power for nearly 683,000 homes per year.
One wind project totaling 22 MW received funding from the Main Tier, however is no longer under contract. Additionally, funds from the Main Tier are used to support 2 Biomass projects totaling 39 MW under the Maintenance Tier.
For a generating facility to be eligible for Main Tier program procurements, it must meet the generation type and fuel source eligibility requirements as defined and clarified by the PSC in its various orders. The PSC orders issued for Case 03-E-0188 are the controlling authority for all determinations of eligibility of projects participating in the NYS RPS.
As of April 2010, the Public Service Commission established new Customer-Sited Tier (CST) program goals for the previously approved CST technologies (photovoltaic (PV); fuel cell, anaerobic gas-to-electric digester technologies, and on- site wind installations), authorized a new CST program aimed at encouraging additional customer-sited installations in the downstate region (NYISO Zones G, H, I and J), and authorized a new CST program focused solely on the deployment of solar thermal energy systems. The Commission also established guidance on program implementation, capacity and energy targets, authorized incentive funding of $429 million, and directed NYSERDA to develop a new Customer-Sited Tier Operating Plan (“2010 CST Plan”). NYSERDA, in consultation with the DPS, established the 2010 CST Plan [PDF] which sets forth general program specifications, capacity and generation targets, and associated budgets. The 2010 CST Plan was approved on June 29, 2010. The 2010 CST Operating Plan was updated in 2012 after a Public Service Commission order providing funds for the NY-Sun Initiative which expanded the existing regional program to a state-wide solar implementation plan and increased the budgets for PV incentives (an additional $90.4 million was transferred from the Main Tier to these CST programs for 2012-2013, and an additional $108 was authorized for these CST programs for 2014-2015;the source of such funds will likely be determined during the RPS 2013 Review). The 2012 CST Operating Plan [PDF] was approved on August 2, 2012.
The RPS program supports active open-enrollment incentive programs for photovoltaics (PV), solar thermal installations, anaerobic digester gas (ADG) systems at farms and wastewater treatment facilities, fuel cells and small wind turbines. The regional program supports customer-sited solar photovoltaic (PV) and renewable biogas fueled electric generation projects in New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) Zones G, H, I and J through periodic competitive solicitations. These "behind-the-meter" renewable systems are supported through the following initiatives:
Bergey WindPower Turbine
- Customers interested in installing PV or small wind can work with one of NYSERDA's eligible installers through our renewable programs. Incentives are available through the solar and wind installers.
- PON 2112 provides cash incentives for the installation by Eligible Installers of new grid-connected Solar Electric or Photovoltaic (PV) systems that are 7 kW or less for residential and 50 kW or less for commercial sites. The goal of the program is to install 82 MW or 93,806 MWhs of Solar Electric Power systems. Incentives will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis, and PV incentive applications will be accepted through December 31, 2015, or until funds are fully committed, whichever comes first.
- PON 2439 provides incentives to encourage the installation of end-use wind energy systems for residential, commercial, institutional or government use. The incentives, of up to $400,000 per site/customer, will be paid to Eligible Installers who install new approved grid-connected wind energy systems using qualified equipment, in accordance with the eligibility requirements described below. The maximum equipment size shall be 2 MW (2,000 kW) per site/customer. NYSERDA’s incentive shall not exceed 50% of the total installed cost of the system. Incentives will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis, and incentive applications will be accepted through December 31, 2015, or until funds are fully committed, whichever comes first.
- PON 2149 requests applications from qualified Solar Thermal (ST) installers for eligibility in a financial incentive program for approved Solar Thermal systems installed for eligible New York State customers.
- PON 2157 provides incentives that are available to support the installation and operation of continuous duty fuel cell systems in New York State, with up to $1 million available for fuel cell systems rated larger than 25 kW and $50,000 available for fuel cell systems rated at 25 kW or less. Incentives will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis, and incentive applications will be accepted through December 31, 2015, or until funds are fully committed, whichever comes first.
- PON 2276 supports the installation and operation of anaerobic digester gas (ADG)-to-electricity systems in New York State through 2015. Incentives will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis, and incentive applications will be accepted through December 31, 2015, or until funds are fully committed, whichever comes first.
- PON 2589 invites proposals for the installation of customer-sited PV projects in NYISO load zones A through J. All systems must be greater than 50 kW. Complete proposals that demonstrate project viability and capability will be competitively selected based on their incentive bid in dollars per kilowatt hour ($/kWh). All Projects must be installed within eight (8) months of the award date. Available funds for the program exceed $300 million for the period 2011 through 2015. PON 2589 has three due dates: December 5, 2012, March 14, 2013, and August 29, 2013.
Last Updated: 03/29/2013