AstroPower Inc. (Newark, DE) announced it has been chosen by the State of New York to increase residential solar-electric power to New York consumers. The state will provide approximately $500,000 to AstroPower, who will in turn match that amount in order to market solar-electric systems to homeowners at a reduced cost. Under a bill signed into law by Governor George E. Pataki in 1997, the State of New York will provide an income tax credit, up to $3,750, along with assurances that homeowners will be able to connect their solar power systems to the utility grid.
As part of the New York Energy $mart Photovoltaics Program, AstroPower will develop a consumer education program through the Pace University Law School's Energy Project. In addition, the company will develop marketing/distribution channels that will enable consumers to choose cost-effective solar power while simultaneously providing a connection to the local power grid for the purposes of selling surplus electricity back to the local utility. A new state net-metering law allows consumers to spin their meters backward when their solar power systems send surplus energy back to the electric grid.
"We are extremely pleased to be chosen by the State of New York for a program to aggressively market solar-electric power directly to the consumer," AstroPower CEO Allen Barnett said. "The combination of state tax credits and easy connection to the local grid will provide real incentive for consumers to adopt this attractive alternative to conventional electricity service."