NYSERDA Cost-Benefit Analysis on Increasing 5,000 MW of Solar Energy
The Power New York Act of 2011 directs NYSERDA to evaluate the costs and benefits of increasing the use of solar photovoltaics (PV) in New York State by 5,000 MW by 2025.
The findings show that the installed cost of PV by 2025 could range from a low of $1.4 million to a high of $4.3 million per new installed MW.
In the analysis, NYSERDA looked at a study period beyond 2025 because PV installation has a 25-year life span, and ratepayers will have to amortize the cost for the power generated throughout the life of the system.
NYSERDA said, “There is a significant range in potential cost estimates to rate payers of meeting a 5,000 MW goal by 2025.
“The magnitude and range of this cost uncertainty ($300 million to $9 billion) is substantial, and strongly suggests the need for a policy response and investment strategy that is both flexible and responsive.”
Brian Sampson, executive director of the Rochester-based business group Unshackle Upstate, said, “Our fear is that the [Assembly proposal] will in fact lead to long-term cost increases to rate payers as New York will be subsidizing an industry that at this time cannot sustain itself.”
NYSERDA used three potential cost scenarios in their study: high cost, low cost, and base case. The agency analyzed the affect PV would have on jobs and estimated that in a high cost scenario, there would be a loss of $9 billion in gross state product and a net loss of 2,500 jobs.
In the base case, the study projects that there would be an increase cost in electricity rates and 750 net job losses per year, causing the gross state product to be reduce by $3 billion. In the low cost scenario, NYSERDA estimated that approximately 700 jobs per year would be created.
Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, said, “At a time when New Yorkers are paying some of the highest energy costs in the nation, the state does not need to adopt a mandate that could increase the cost to consumers by as much as $9 billion.”
The study can be found at http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/en/Publications/Energy-Analysis-Reports/Solar-Study.aspx.