Historic solar legislation approved in Senate

George D. Maziarz

April 24, 2013

Senator George Maziarz (R-C, Newfane) is pleased to announce that legislation that he championed in the Senate was passed today.

This legislation, Senate Bill 2522, has two primary purposes.  First, in order to drive more solar installations in New York State, this legislation takes the NY-Sun program and cements it into law. The implementation of the NY-SUN program would guarantee a ten year state investment out of the Renewable Portfolio Standard program at the level of $146 million every year over ten years. This program will create nearly 5,000 direct and indirect jobs, drive more than $7 billion in economic activities and produce 2,200 megawatts of clean solar energy-enough to power 400,000 homes.  

Second, it seeks to drive investment in manufacturing by providing a substantial tax credit aimed at attracting a solar or energy storage equipment manufacturer to the state of New York.  The credit would be as right and capped at $25 million and would include support for manufacturing as well as research and development activities, and would require that any recipient support at least 100 full time jobs.  

“I can think of no better way to honor Earth Day then by the passage of this legislation,” said Senator George D. Maziarz, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee and Prime Sponsor of this legislation.  “By adopting this bill, New York will create jobs, protect the environment and become a national leader in solar energy.  In fact, this is the first time a major solar incentive program has passed in either the Senate or Assembly in New York.”

Beyond the creation of jobs, the increase in usage of solar energy will go a long way in decreasing emissions across the board.  It is estimated that as a result of the passage of this legislation, there will be reductions of 1.5 million tons of Co2, 51.6 tons of mercury, 14,200 tons of nitrous oxide and 28,800 tons of sulfur dioxide.  

“This bill does so much for the current and future of energy alternatives in this State and I am extremely pleased that it was passed today,” said Maziarz.  “This bill has 27 bi-partisan co-sponsors in the Senate alongside great support from a wide-range of organizations.  I am excited for the future of the solar industry in this state, as it will elevate New York as a national leader, all while assisting in climate control and driving economic development.”

"NY-BEST congratulates Senator Maziarz on the NYS Senate's passage today of his bill, S.2522. By establishing tax credits to qualified manufacturers of energy storage technologies in New York State, the bill would implement one of the major recommendations of NY-BEST's Roadmap for Energy Storage and further strengthen New York's position as a leader in energy storage. These technologies, which include advanced batteries and related devices, are transforming  the way the electricity grid and transportation systems operate worldwide. We are thankful to Senator Maziarz for his support and leadership on behalf of the energy storage industry and for his recognition of the valuable energy, economic and environmental benefits of these technologies" said Dr. William Acker, Executive Director of NY-BEST.

“At a time when the state faces the dual challenges of an economy still in recovery and failing energy infrastructure, this solar bill can help build a stronger New York,” said Peter Olmsted, east coast policy advocate for Vote Solar. “We thank bill sponsor Senator Maziarz and his colleagues for their leadership and look forward to working with the Assembly to get the New York Solar Bill across the finish line.”

"NY-Sun is delivering on its promise to jumpstart the solar industry in the Empire State; attracting private sector investment, creating local jobs, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution from the electric sector," said Jackson Morris, director of strategic engagement at the Pace Energy & Climate Center. "Thanks to the leadership of Senator Maziarz, today's Senate vote moves us a critical step closer to a long-term solar program that will keep driving down costs and maximizing benefits to New Yorkers."

This legislation, currently co-sponsored by Assemblyman Englebright and a number of other bi-partisan Assembly members is currently referred to the Assembly Energy Committee.