Monday, August 18, 2008

Summary of New State Net-Metering Law

The Department of Energy publicized NY's new net-metering laws, which may be relevant for the town hall and other town buildings. Below are the most relevant portions. The rest is available here.

New York Governor David Paterson signed a legislative package on August 5 that will encourage people throughout the state to install grid-connected solar and wind power systems, systems that generate power from farm wastes, and green roofs. Most of the bills relate to net metering, which allows homeowners and businesses to earn credit for any excess power that they feed back into the electric grid. Senate Bill 7171 expands net metering to include non-residential solar power systems up to 2 megawatts in capacity, or equal in size to the customer's peak load, whichever is less, and increases the maximum solar power system size for residential customers to 25 kilowatts, up from 10 kilowatts. The bill also attempted to increase the limit for farm-based anaerobic digesters to 1 megawatt, but a separate bill, S. 8415, knocked the limit down to 500 kilowatts, which is still an improvement over the previous limit of 400 kilowatts. S. 7171 also requires each utility to develop a model contract and reasonable rates, terms, and conditions for net metering of non-residential customers, and to develop safety standards for interconnecting these customers. It also includes a requirement for an external disconnect switch, which is rarely needed for modern grid connection equipment.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Main Street Grant for Port Ewen

Good news for Port Ewen that I wanted to share. The way I see it, a healthy "downtown" Port Ewen will promote sustainability in the town as a whole. This is the text of a flier you may see around town:

Promoting Pride in Port Ewen is proud to announce the award of a $200,000 New York Main Street grant for the hamlet of Port Ewen

The funds will be available in the coming year, so we must get prepared to take advantage of this opportunity now. The work will focus on a concentrated target area on Broadway from the old Riverview Restaurant to the old Library Building.

Promoting Pride in Port Ewen is a group of citizens representing a large segment of the hamlet's population. We have been working for two years to build upon the enhancement of our Broadway corridor. We believe the New York Main Streets grant program is a great beginning towards the renewal of our beautiful hamlet.

The following three types of activities are eligible for funding:

• Façade Renovation - Matching grants of up to $10,000 per building. The grant for Port Ewen has $150,000 in funds available for Façade Renovation.
• Building Renovation - Matching grants of up to $50,000 per building for renovation of commercial/ civic space on first floor and residential units above. The grant for Port Ewen has $25,000 in funds available for Building Renovations on 5 residential units.
• Streetscape Enhancement - Since the NYS DOT has included trees and other can help us provide appropriate signs in accordance with a local signage plan, banners and other enhancements. The grant for Port Ewen has $25,000 available for streetscape enhancements.

To learn more about this grant opportunity, please attend our next meeting at the
Town of Esopus Library Monday, August, 25th at 6:30 pm

Please plan to attend if you operate a business, own a building in the target area, or wish to lean more about how we are planning to improve our hamlet in the years to come. For more information contact