The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has increased the funding available to help New Yorkers install small-scale wind turbines that will cut their energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint
The program is available to individual consumers, developers, farmers and others who wish to install “on-site” wind turbines to generate electricity. It will provide funding to support approximately 30 percent of the purchase- and installation cost of wind turbines. While the electricity generated from these systems will primarily be used by the individual customer, unused electricity could be sold to electric utilities to be added to the grid.
“Wind power can be an important tool for many consumers to incorporate sustainable energy power into their operations in a way that reduces their reliance on fossil fuels,” said NYSERDA President and CEO Francis J. Murray. “NYSERDA’s work to support wind energy will help create jobs, reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and increase our energy security.”
Funding totaling $16.6 million will be offered over the next five years and allocated based on the estimated annual electrical output of the turbine. Since 2008, NYSERDA’s wind incentives have provided 61 consumers with funding totaling $1.8 million. These incentives, which are paid to eligible installers and must be passed on in full to the customer, have benefited 35 residences, 18 farms, three schools, two businesses, two not-for-profit, and one industrial site.
Since the latest incentive program began Oct. 1, NYSERDA has thus far received 13 applications totaling $550,000.
The systems built so far under the program are expected in total to generate more than 1.2 megawatt-hours annually, enough electricity to power 185 single-family homes for a year. The systems are also expected to reduce energy costs by more than $170,000 each year.
The funding announced today will rely on sophisticated computer modeling to predict the actual output to provide a measure of the electricity expected to be produced. The new program will provide incentives for systems up to 600kW per site not to exceed $400,000 per turbine. Turbine systems generally range in price from $60,000 to $300,000.
To determine whether wind power is appropriate for a specific location, New Yorkers can use “Small windExplorer”, an online resource available to consumers and installers. The site features average annual wind speeds and estimated annual energy output of wind systems for a specific location. It will be used by installers and NYSERDA to help guide on-site wind development throughout the state. Developed by AWS TruePower in Albany for NYSERDA, users of the windExplorer can download a wind resource report for an exact location, which will help determine if a project is economically feasible.
By making these systems more affordable for consumers, this program will expand the demand for wind installers and technicians and be a catalyst for job growth. Two NYSERDA-funded initiatives to support wind training include the following initiatives to support the wind industry:
*In October, Clinton Community College unveiled a Nacelle Turbine Troubleshooting Learning system to support its wind energy training programs. The Nacelle system was supported by more than $250,000 in NYSERDA funding and provides a unique training platform for students by replicating the functions of a full-size utility-scale wind turbine.
*In September, Hudson Valley Community College and NYSERDA unveiled two, 5-kilowatt wind turbines at the college’s TEC-SMART facility in Malta, NY. The turbines will be used as part of TEC-SMART’s small wind training program to teach students wind turbine design, modeling, siting, and safe assembly, among other topics. The $162,000 cost of the turbines was offset by $29,000 in NYSERDA funding.
Funds to support the Customer-Sited Wind Turbine Incentive program are provided through the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Determinations of the amount of funding available for this program are made by the Public Service Commission.
For more information, visit www.NYSERDA.org.