WASHINGTON — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved legislation promoting the growth of solar energy in the state. The package of bills, all related to tax exemption of solar projects in New York, was applauded by the Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA®).

“We applaud Governor Cuomo, as well as Senator George Maziarz and Assemblyman Cahill for their bipartisan work paving the way for solar to succeed in New York State,” said Carrie Cullen Hitt, vice president for state affairs at SEIA. “By making it more affordable for businesses and homeowners to install solar systems, these laws are vital to helping New York realize its goal of 45 percent renewable-powered electricity by 2015. We look forward to continuing to work with state leaders so that New York can meet its total solar market potential in the near future.”

According to the SEIA, New York is home to about 7,500 solar photovoltaic (PV) installations and it ranks sixth in the nation in number of solar PV systems. These systems have the capacity to produce 121 megawatts of solar energy — enough to power nearly 20,000 homes. In addition to these new laws, the state has several other policies in place to promote solar investment, including a feed-in tariff through Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) customer-sited tiered program, and net metering — rules that credit customers for excess power generated.

The bill package signed by Gov. Cuomo includes:

• Bill A 34-B: Provides tax credits for solar energy system equipment.

• Bill A 10620: Provides for the amount of tax abatement for solar generating systems in cities of one million or more.

• Bill A 5522-B: Exempts the sale and installation of commercial solar energy systems from state sales and compensating use taxes and allows municipalities to grant these systems a tax exemption as well.

The SEIA said the U.S. solar industry currently employs 100,000 Americans at more than 5,600 companies, mostly small businesses, in all 50 states. For more information, visit www.seia.org.

Publication date: 9/3/2012