When home owners and business with their own solar power systems send excess electricity back to the grid, they receive credits from utility companies. These credits reduce the amount they pay on their utility bills.
The NY Public Service Commission recently agreed to increase the number of home and business solar power systems that can receive net metering by two times.
This means such home and business owners can save more money on their utility bills. So, one might say they are being rewarded for deciding to invest in solar power. The point of supporting solar power is to help it grow. Anyone who has been following renewable energy in America knows that solar power is an emerging industry that needs support. Actually, the established energy industry in the form of oil, gas and coal all receive financial incentives from the government, so it only is logical that renewable energy would too – especially to help an emerging industry that is adding new jobs to a struggling economy.
“[New York] Governor Cuomo and the PSC deserve a lot of credit for being forward looking and for understanding the importance of market certainty. With 338MW of solar capacity already installed across the state, this action puts New York on a clear trajectory to become one of the nation’s leading solar states,”explained Solar Energy Industries Associations chief executive, Rhone Resch.
Currently, New York state has about 338 MW of solar capacity, but the new met metering increase could pave the way for adding 1500 MW more. The 338 MW has been estimated to be able to power about 57,000 homes (with adequate sunlight). Increasing the amount of solar PV by over four times would be quite a surge. The state has put forth a goal of reaching 3000 MW by 2020, so the net metering increase seems to be a decision that would keep solar power expansion on track.
New York has been rated as a top solar state because of its supportive mindset at the policy level. Some other states, such as Arizona, seem to have some resistance to solar power.
Image: William Warby