The Interstate Renewable Energy Council and Vote Solar have awarded letter grades to states for their renewable energy policies on grid interconnection and net metering in an interactive report called Freeing the Grid 2012. New York scored well in both areas, although more needs to be done.
For net metering, New York earned an “A” grade for the first time. The state scored a “D” in 2009 and a “B” in 2010 and 2011. Net metering is available for a variety of renewable energy sources, from solar and wind to biogas and cogeneration, with limits of 25kW for residential systems and 2MW for commercial systems. However, the state utilities may still cap the amount of electricity they permit to return to the grid through net metering. In August Central Hudson Gas & Electric reached its net metering cap and said it would not allow more customers to participate in the program.
The IREC and Vote Solar have given New York a solid “B” on interconnection for the past four years. The state could improve its grade in this area by increasing or removing system size limits and creating rules for systems that will connect to the grid but not export excess electricity.