PSC GIVES GREEN LIGHT TO CLEAN ENERGY
– Installation of Small-Scale Renewable Energy Systems Encouraged –
 The New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) today approved changes to the tariffs of the six investor-owned utilities in New York to strengthen and promote installation of small-scale renewable energy systems in homes and businesses through a greater expansion of a customer’s ability to sell power back to the utility in a process known as net metering.
“Net metering encourages the use of small-scale renewable energy systems, which provides long-term benefits to the environment and the economy,” said Commission Chairman Garry Brown. “By using net metering, a home or business owner will be able to take excess electricity created by a solar panel or other qualifying renewable generator and in effect either bank the electricity until it is needed or sell it back to the utility at its retail value – a win for the consumer and the environment.”
The change in the tariffs of the investor-owned utilities – Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., Orange & Rockland Utilities, Inc., National Grid, Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation, and New York State Electric & Gas Corporation – follows on the heels of a new state law that added commercial photovoltaic and wind power customers to the list of those eligible for net metering.
The new provisions increase the maximum size of residential solar generation and farm waste generation systems eligible for net metering and expanding net metering to non-residential solar generation systems. The new law sets forth directives for net metering for residential solar, non-residential solar, and farm waste electric generating systems, with the amendments providing for the net metering of qualifying non-residential solar electric generating systems and making revisions to the provisions for the net metering of generation fueled by farm waste.
Non-residential customers can now install a renewable energy system that generates up to lesser of their peak load or 2 MW at peak performance. The law also raised the limits to 25 KW from 10 KW for residential photovoltaic customers’ systems, to 500 KW from 400 KW for farm waste systems, and to 500 KW from 125 KW for residential farm wind systems. The limit for residential wind systems stays unchanged at 25 KW.
The Commission’s decision, when issued, may be obtained from the Commission’s www.dps.state.ny.us Web site by accessing the Commission’s File Room section of the homepage and referencing Cases 08-E-1305, 08-E-1306, 08-E-1307, 08-E-1308, 08-E-1309, and 08-E-1310.
More on New York’s net metering laws, expanded in 2008, may be found here.
The PSC separately issued an order on the use of “smart grid” technology in New York.