New York Raises Ceiling on Central Hudson's Net-Metered PV System Installations

October 26, 2007

The New York Public Service Commission, raised the capacity cap on net-metered photovoltaic (PV) system installations on the Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation system from 3 megawatts (MW) to 10 MW. The purpose of the commission's action is to stabilize the market for new PV incentives.

In its October 19 order, the commission stated, "A substantial increase to Central Hudson’s net metering ceiling is needed to promote the continued growth of residential PV-system capability within its service territory….that growth accords with New York’s policies favoring increased production from clean, efficient forms of generation like solar energy…"

At the present rate of PV system installation in the utility’s service territory, a ceiling of 3 MW of capacity will be reached by July 2010. If that installation rate increases, the ceiling could be reached even sooner. Therefore, the commission said, the old ceiling probably would not help the PV market grow.

The increased ceiling is equivalent to roughly 1 percent of the utility’s peak load. At that magnitude, the commission asserted, PV generation from many locations distributed throughout the power network will not adversely affect the utility’s operations.

The commission also authorized Central Hudson to defer any revenue losses caused by onsite generation of electricity by PV production in excess of 0.8 MW. The commission explained that because ratepayers reap the environmental benefits that PV systems yield, it is reasonable for them to fund some of the costs associated with providing net metering through the utility.

For more information, read the commission's October 17 order .

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