Renewable Energy Technology Incentives in New York | The Renewable Energy Hub USA

Renewable Energy Technology Incentives in New York


Boasting the 4th largest hydroelectric plant in the whole of the US, the state of New York has made great moves to create an energy mix that is green, despite having some of the highest electricity prices in the country. The state is looking to deliver over 50% of its energy needs from renewable sources and has invested heavily in small scale solar in the last decade.

Nearly 17% of the state’s electricity now comes from renewable technology, mainly from hydroelectric but with contributions from solar, biomass and wind. Solar PV is growing in particular in the state and has a thriving industry comprising of over 600 companies providing jobs for more than 8,000 people. The state has 638 MW of current capacity with the biggest producer being the Long Island Solar Farm with a capacity of 32 MW.

New York has a number of hydroelectric plants including Robert Moses and the Blenheim-Gilboa Hydroelectric Power Station all of which contribute to the larger portion of clean energy in the state. The mix of large scale and small hydro plants means that New York has almost 300 different working stations of varying sizes. Despite its small landmass, the state also fairs pretty well when it comes to wind power, producing a capacity of 1,749 MW with one of the largest being the 112 MW Sheldon Wind Project in Wyoming County.

Solar PV Incentives in New York

The state is looking to expand the number of small solar PV installations over the next decade or so and has incentives in place to make this possible. There is the 30% Federal Tax Rebate as well as the state commercial and residential NY-Sun PV Incentive Program rebate which is linked to net metering and provides around $0.30 to $0.70 per watt produced. There is also the Solar Sales Tax Exemption to take advantage of which also applies to solar thermal.

Solar PV Case Study in New York

As in a number of other states, you can choose to buy your solar panels through savings or a loan or decide to lease from an installing company whereby you forfeit any incentives for free panels. The cost of a 5 kW array is cheaper than in many other states at $17,750, a large chunk of which is reduced through the Federal Tax Rebate and state tax reductions up to $5,000. That means you should be able to cover the cost of any loan through net metering and see a return on investment of over $30,000 during the 25 years the array is expected to last.

Solar Thermal Incentives in New York

Solar thermal has access to some of the same incentives as solar PV and is another technology that is being actively encouraged in the state. For those who have suitable properties, solar thermal can greatly reduce the cost of heating water and is generally a lot cheaper than solar PV. You can also get low cost financing through the NY-Sun Loan Program.

Small Hydro Incentives in New York

There are plenty of small hydroelectric projects in the state and all benefit from the Federal Tax Rebate and various tax credits. Installers can also access green energy financing such as the Clean Energy Fund. It’s not just hydroelectric that New York is looking to expand but they are also one of the few states actively developing tidal technology such as the RITE Project on the East River.

Geothermal Incentives in New York

As with many other states, New York is promoting the installation of geothermal technologies such as ground source heat pumps for properties that have the right insulation and sufficient space to house the underground piping. Options such as the PSEG Long Island Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program are designed to help with this.

Biomass Incentives in New York

Biomass in the state is covered by incentives such as the Federal Tax Rebate and supported by a number of loan schemes including the NY Green Bank and Clean Energy Fund. As a small state, there is the issue of supply of material when it comes to developing large scale biomass power plants, as part of its inclusion as a renewable technology is the proximity of material and the low carbon cost of transportation.

Wind Power Incentives in New York

With 1,700 MW of capacity already installed, New York has more potential for wind power and there are plans to build offshore in the Long Island area. The return on investment for a wind turbine is fairly good compared to other renewable technologies despite the large set-up cost. That said, wind power has largely been restricted to commercial development rather than on a smaller scale, though there are incentives such as the Federal Tax Rebate and low cost loans that could be taken advantage of if planning permission was allowed.

In general, New York has one of the best renewable technology drives in place and is trying to provide its citizens with a good mix of clean energy. While much will depend on developing more hydroelectric, tidal and solar provision, off shore wind could become more popular in the future.

To find out more about renewable technology incentives for New York, visit the DSIRE web portal.

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