NY OKs $279M for Small-Scale Energy Projects

New York State’s Public Service Commission has approved a $279-million funding package for small-scale renewable energy projects over the next five years. The plan approved yesterday will help thousands of homeowners and businesses to install solar panels, fuel cells, wind turbines and other renewable energy devices, the Commission said.

The $279 million funding package will come from the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard initiative. In addition, the Commission said $150 million would be made available for large-scale solar photovoltaic, anaerobic digestion and fuel cell projects in and around the Hudson Valley and New York City, Brighter Energy.org reported.

“In these difficult economic times, we are keeping our focus on the long-term need to support the investment in renewable energy. The development and expansion of our critically important renewable energy resources will allow us to take greater control of our energy future,” said Gary Brown, PSC chairman.

For the smallscale funding program, equipment up to 50kW will be eligible for funding, which breaks down into $144 million for solar photovoltaic projects, $70.5 million for anaerobic digesters, $21.6 million for fuel cell projects and $18.1 million for small wind turbines.

For the first time, solar heating projects will also receive support, with the technology allocated $24.7 million. New York is striving to meet a target under its RPS to source 30% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015.

The Public Service Commission claimed that its funding program would see 466,000 megawatt-hours of renewable electricity generated over its five year period – enough power to supply 72,000 homes.