The New York State Senate passed a bill (S.4890E) sponsored by Senator James Wright (R- Watertown), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, that would allow farms and homeowners in the state to install small wind systems and sell the excess power to utility companies under a “net metering” arrangement. This will be the first time wind generation has been eligible in New York state for net metering.Albany, New York – June 22, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] “This new proposal will be of particular assistance to small farms, allowing them to use the natural resource of wind to supply electricity and create economic and environmental benefits for their business and family,” said Wright. “Given the large amount of land utilized by New York’s farmers which is ideal for the use of wind turbines, it makes sense to encourage them to use this technology.” The proposal builds upon a law (also sponsored by Wright) enacted in 2002 that allows farmers to have a net metering tariff for methane digesters. Under net metering, excess electricity produced by the wind turbine spins the existing home or business electricity meter backwards, effectively banking the electricity until it is needed by the customer. This provides the customer with full retail value for all the electricity produced. “New York has considerable wind energy resources,” Wright said. “Small wind generators have zero emissions and are an environmentally sound source of producing electricity. “Use of this technology will allow for users to have clean, low-cost electricity that will help improve their bottom line by lowering their electricity bills.” “With this bill, farmers will be able to take advantage of New York’s significant energy resources and generate clean energy to fuel on-farm generation needs, while supplying any excess electricity back to the grid for customer use,” said John W. Lincoln, President of the New York Farm Bureau. “We are appreciative of Senator Wright for crafting a bill that is a ‘win-win’ for agriculture and the environment, as farmers would have access to electricity at a low cost, with clean, renewable energy as a result.” The bill will now be sent to the State Assembly.