New York Legislature Misses Opportunity to Sign NY Solar Bill into Law

4 Jul 2013

The 32 MW Long Island Solar Farm was one of the largest projects implemented as a result of the NY-Sun Initiative.

The 32 MW Long Island Solar Farm was one of the largest projects implemented as a result of the NY-Sun Initiative.

The New York legislative session ended last week without the much anticipated enactment of the NY Sun Act of 2013. Governor Cuomo was unable to sign the NY Sun Act of 2013 (A.5060b/S.2522) into law following this year’s legislative session, as the House and Senate did not follow through with a reconciliation of the two bills prior to the end of proceedings.

The hope for major clean energy legislation in New York began on Earth Day as the Senate unanimously passed its version of the bill.  On June 20, 2013, the Assembly then followed with a promising vote of 76-16; however, this vote favored a different version of the bill.  With two versions of the bill lying on the table, reconciliation would need to occur in order to send the bill to the Governor’s desk for a signature. Time got the best of the House and Senate as they were unable to produce a compromised version of the long-term solar policy, leaving New York’s solar industry without the clean energy legislation it was hoping for.

Acting upon the promise Governor Cuomo made to the solar industry earlier this year, the bill would have committed at least $1.5 billion to a solar incentive program that will span the next ten years and build 2.2 GW of new solar installations by 2023. The NY Sun Act would extend the existing NY-Sun Initiative, which was designed to quadruple the customer-sited PV capacity in New York by from 2011 to 2013, by allocating at least $150 million per year to qualified installations until 2024. While broadly worded, the bill committed to encouraging “a diversity of project sizes, geographic distribution, and participation among customer classes” as well as giving special consideration to the economic benefits of systems over 100kW. As with the NY-Sun Initiative, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) would administer the program on behalf of the state’s public services commission, and the bill would give them a large amount of freedom to create incentive and financing structures that, in their judgment, would “provide for the most effective program.

Despite the lack of a fully formed bill to sign, Governor Cuomo does have the power to enact much of the proposed legislation through executive decree, a process in which the governor orders the executive branch to act even in the absence of existing legislation. In fact, Cuomo executed the NY-Sun Initiative in the same manner and many stakeholders within the industry are calling for him to do the same for this ten year program.

Sol Systems will continue to track the progress of this legislation and will provide any updates on our blog.  Sol Systems also invites developers with projects located in New York in need of financing to contact our team at or (888) 235-1538 ext. 2.  Our team would be happy to discuss your project with you and assess financing opportunities.

About Sol Systems

Sol Systems is a boutique financial services firm that offers investor clients direct access to the renewable energy asset class and provides developers with sophisticated project financing solutions. Founded in 2008, Sol Systems focuses on meeting the most critical needs of the industry, including SREC monetization, capital placement, tax equity, and New Market Tax Credits. To date, the company has arranged financing for thousands of projects and facilitated hundreds of millions in investment on behalf of Fortune 100 companies, private equity, family offices and individuals.

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Eric Scheier

Eric Scheier