State Senate Passes Bill to Expand Renewable Energy Program

Betty Little

February 22, 2010

The State Senate today approved legislation (S.6700) to promote the expanded use of non-residential solar and wind electric generating systems.  Senator Betty Little cosponsored the measure which amends the current “net metering” law to remove obstacles that have limited the participation of non-residential customers, including businesses, schools, municipalities and non-profits.

Net metering allows renewable energy consumers to sell excess electricity generated on site back to utilities.

“This legislation will make the investment and deployment of clean energy systems much more affordable,” said Senator Little.  “New York State has ambitious energy efficiency and independence goals and amending the net metering law is an important step in helping us achieve these goals over the next decade.”

New York State's net metering law was expanded in 2008 to cover non-residential customers installing wind and solar energy systems. However, the law prevented many customers from installing appropriately sized systems.  The legislation will eliminate the peak load limitation and allow non-residential solar or wind systems as large as two megawatts, making the investment much more attractive for many businesses, non-profits and municipalities.

The bill will be returned to the Assembly, where it was approved on February 9, 2010, before being sent to Governor David Paterson for his consideration.