The city that never sleeps will soon be powered by more solar energy. Large-scale solar projects in New York City and the Lower Hudson Valley got a $20 million boost this month, with more money on the horizon. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), along with the state Public Service Commission, awarded the funding for large-scale, regional solar power projects.
The money is the first round of a $150 million, five-year funding program. Another $10 million is available for an upcoming second round of proposals. New York City businesses receiving incentives from the first chunk of money include a wide range of businesses, including: five department stores, half a dozen apartment complexes, a Pepsi-Cola bottling plant and two United States Postal Service distribution centers, along with 20 other sites in and around New York.
Projects were selected through a competitive process after appplicants submitted confidential bids. NYSERDA incentives pay up to 50 percent of the cost of the project, up to $3 million. PV systems are also eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit and a 25 percent state tax credit.
NYSERDA will award up to $30 million each year, of which $25 million is targeted for New York City or Southern Westchester County. The goal is to promote more clean-energy production in a part of the state that has traditionally been a larger consumer of fossil fuels. The projects are meant to produce power for the on-site user, not for direct sale to utilities.