In recent solar news, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in his state of the state address an additional $1 billion in funding for solar projects. This is in addition to the NY-Sun Initiative which made PV news in 2012, with 300 megawatts of solar photovoltaic installed or in development. This new funding for NY-Sun also includes changes in the program to model it after California’s program, California Solar Initiative. This program has allowed California’s solar industry to become a leader in the United States.
Both programs follow a “declining megawatt block” structure. This means that for every increase in energy generation capacity, the incentives decrease. This gives the industry the most assistance when it is smallest, and drives down the cost to deliver and install solar energy over time. As the industry builds up, less incentives are needed, and the amount of subsidy falls.
Much like California’s program, New York’s program has a separate incentive structures for different categories. In New York’s, the incentive structures for governments and non-profits follow a different curve than the incentives for commercial and residential solar installations.
The original solar program started in 2012 has led to New York shooting up in the United States solar rankings, although it still trails leaders such as California. With this program in place that pace will continue, as New York continues to grow its solar industry.