By Donald T. Ross

2013-03-01_wind_turbines.jpgFaced with the twin challenges of meeting New York State’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (“RPS”)—which sets renewable energy consumption targets and milestones for the State—and the current economic conditions which have “stalled the renewable industry,” the Public Service Commission (“PSC”) has increased, effective February 14, 2013, the cap on available incentives for “customer-sited” or “behind-the-meter” on-site wind turbine installation projects.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (“NYSERDA”), which implements the incentive program, has been authorized to increase the maximum incentive amount for those projects—maximum 2 megawatts—to $1 million per installation (up from $400,000).  The “declining block” system of incentive awards, with payments per kilowatt/hour declining at certain thresholds of increasing output, remains, though NYSERDA will be revisiting this structure to add another tier for certain projects larger than 400,000 kWh. The hope is that customer-sited wind projects are placed on a more equal footing incentive-wise with similarly sized solar projects. You can read the PSC’s full order here.