Cahill Supports Expansion of Net Metering for Central Hudson Customers

Assemblymember urges Public Service Commission to approve renewable energy proposal
August 22, 2007

Assemblymember Kevin Cahill (D-Ulster, Dutchess) came out in support of a proposal to raise the cap on how much electricity generated by homes with solar installations can be sold back to the grid in return for credits on their Central Hudson utility bill.

The practice, known as net metering, is currently limited to 1.8 MW. Sustainable Hudson Valley and New York Solar Energy Industries Association filed a petition with the Public Service Commission requesting that the cap be raised to 3 MW.

“Net metering is a critical incentive for people considering investing in solar energy systems for their homes,” said Assemblymember Cahill. “Promoting clean, renewable power will lessen our collective carbon footprint, improve public health, enhance air quality and encourage economic development.”

In March of this year, Central Hudson reached its net metering limit of 1.2 MW and stopped accepting new applications for net metered residential solar systems. The Commission subsequently increased the cap to 1.8 MW, a limit that solar installers expect to meet before the close of the year. An examination of the data on residential participants in the New York Energy $mart PV Incentive Program shows that the 189 installations in the Central Hudson service territory have a capacity to generate just over 1.2 MW – 29% of the 4.2 MW capacity statewide, greater than any other eligible service area.

“The solar economy is thriving in the Hudson Valley and the imminent arrival of the Solar Energy Consortium promises to turn the region into a hot spot for the industry’s expansion,” said Mr. Cahill. “By focusing on the minimal immediate impact the expansion of net metering will have on their bottom line, Central Hudson is failing to recognize the long term economic benefit of promoting the Hudson Valley as a hub for solar innovation and development.”

Please click here to see Assemblymember Cahill’s letter to the Public Service Commission.