New York offers a variety of solar incentives to encourage businesses to go solar. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) offers a rebate of up to $1,500 per kilowatt (kW) for commercial solar installations. In addition, the New York State Property Tax Abatement Program provides a property tax exemption for up to 100% of the value of the solar equipment. Solar installers in New York can also take advantage of the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which offers a tax credit of up to 30% of the cost of the installation. As a result, New York is an excellent state for businesses considering going solar.
Local Option – Solar, Wind & Biomass Energy Systems Exemption
Section 487 of the New York State Real Property Tax Law provides a 15-year real property tax exemption for solar, wind energy, and farm-waste energy systems constructed in New York State. As currently effective, the law is a local option exemption, meaning that local governments are permitted decide whether or not to allow it. 100% exemption for 15 years (unless local jurisdiction has opted out)
NY-Sun PV Incentive Program (Residential, Low-Income, and Small Business)
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) through NY Sun Incentive Program (PON 2112) provides cash incentives for the installation of approved, grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems. The program was re-launched in 2014 with a goal of supporting 3.175 GW of installed capacity by 2023, which has been expanded to 6 GW of installed capacity by 2025. The program provides cash incentives for residential solar systems that are 25 kW or less, and for small commercial systems in Upstate and PSEG Long Island region that are 750kW or less and non-residential sites in the Con Ed region up to 7.5MW or less.
Small Commercial (Non-Residential): Long Island Region: $0.00/W (MW blocks have been fully subscribed)
Con Edison Region: $0.60/W
Up State Region: $0.45/W
Solar Sales Tax Exemption
New York enacted legislation in July 2005 exempting the sale and installation of residential solar-energy systems from the state’s sales and compensating use taxes. The exemption was extended to non-residential solar systems in August 2012 (S.B. 3203), effective beginning January 1, 2013. In 2015 the exemption was extended to solar systems that are owned by third party owners, who provide solar electricity to residential and commercial users. 100% exemption from state sales tax
City of Riverhead – Energy Conservation Device Permitting Fees
In 2006 the Town of Riverhead on Long Island enacted a special allowance in its building permit fee structure to provide a discount to people wishing to install energy conservation devices on residential or commercial buildings. The provision in the town code applies to any energy conservation device “installed in or on a structure which qualifies for any federal, state or local tax exemption, tax credit or tax rebate”, but explicitly mentions solar panels as eligible for favorable treatment.
New York City – Property Tax Abatement for Photovoltaic (PV) and Energy Storage equipment
In August 2008 the State of New York enacted legislation allowing a property tax abatement for photovoltaic (PV) system expenditures made on buildings located in cities with a population of 1 million or more people. This limits the abatement to systems installed within New York City. Eligible buildings include all real property except utility real property.
Installed from August 5, 2008 to December 31, 2010: 8.75% of system expenditures per year for 4 years (total of 35%);
Installed from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2012: 5% of system expenditures per year for 4 years (total of 20%);
Installed from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013: 2.5% of system expenditures per year for 4 years (total of 10%)
Installed from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2016: 5% of the system expenditures per year for 4 years
Installed from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018: 5% of the system expenditures per year for 4 years
Local Option – Solar Sales Tax Exemption
New York enacted legislation in July 2005 exempting the sale and installation of residential solar-energy systems from the state’s sales and compensating use taxes. The exemption applies to solar-energy systems that utilize solar radiation to produce energy designed to provide heating, cooling, hot water and/or electricity. Upon local authorization, 100% exemption from local sales tax
Local Option – Real Property Tax Exemption for Green Buildings
In July 2012 New York enacted legislation allowing municipal corporations to exempt green buildings from real property taxes. It is important to note that this law allows but does not require local governments to extend favorable property tax treatment to green buildings.
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NY Green Bank
Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a petition issued by NYSERDA’s to establish and fund the operations of New York Green Bank (NY Green Bank). NY Green Bank is a state-sponsored specialized financial entity, working to accelerate clean energy deployment throughout New York State by partnering with the private sector to address and alleviate market and financial barriers preventing a thriving clean energy marketplace. While there is no maximum or minimum project size NY Green Bank will consider, the expected project range is between NY $5 million to $50 million.
NY-Sun Loan Program
NY-Sun loan program is part of broader NY-Sun Initiative program to accelerate the use of solar PV across the State. In addition to cash incentives, NY-Sun Initiative also provides State sponsored low-interest financing options to install solar PV systems. The financing for the program is made available through the Green Jobs- Green New York (GJGNY) Act of 2009.
Small Business and Not-for-Profit Organizations:
Participation Loans: up to $100,000 (at low interest rate)
On-Bill Recovery loans: $50,000 at 2%
NY-Sun Commercial and Industrial Incentive Program
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) through NY-Sun Commercial/Industrial Incentive Program (PON 3082) provides incentives for installation of non-residential new grid connected solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that are greater than 200 kW. Incentives for systems smaller than 200 kW systems are offered through the NY- Residential and Small Commericial incentive program.
Incentives based on MW blocks (as of August 2017):
ConEdison Region: $0.173 /kWh
Rest of the State:
Monetary: $ 0.01/kWh
Volumetric: $ 0.09/ kWh
Projects in strategic locations: Additional 20% (multiply base incentive by 1.20)
Projects integrating energy storage: Additional $50,000
Projects integrating energy efficiency: Additional $50,000
PSEG Long Island- Commercial Solar PV Feed-in Tariff
PSEG Long Island’s Commercial Solar Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program supports the development of solar energy for commercial sector in Long Island. The program is designed as part of Long Island Power Authority’s (LIPA) goal to add 400 MW of new renewable energy generation by 2018. The commercial solar FIT program has a goal to install 20 MW of solar energy in its third round of solicitation. Fixed price ($/kWh) will be paid for a period of 20 years based on the Clearing Price determined through the Clearing Price Auction. The bid price cap is set at $0.1649/kWh. Applications with price greater than the bid cap will not be considered for auction.