NYSEIA is keeping its members up to date with relevant resources regarding the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19. New information will be posted here as soon as possible.
NYSEIA and SEIA are working with state and federal policymakers who are developing recovery responses and legislation. It is critical that we understand how this pandemic is impacting solar companies. Please help us gather this information by filling out this brief survey.
Please note that information on this page does not constitute legal advice from NYSEIA.
202.1 Remote public meetings are permitted.
202.6 Construction is designated as an essential business activity not subject to in-person restrictions.
202.7 Remote is notarization permitted.
202.8 All businesses and not-for-profit entities in the state shall utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely utilize. Each employer shall reduce the in-person workforce at any work locations by 100% no later than March 22 at 8 p.m. Any essential business or entity providing essential services or functions shall not be subject to the in-person restrictions. An entity providing essential services or functions whether to an essential business or a non-essential business shall not be subjected to the in-person work restriction, but may operate at the level necessary to provide such service or function. Any business violating the above order shall be subject to enforcement as if this were a violation of an order pursuant to section 12 of the Public Health Law.
ESDC Guidance on Designation of Solar Construction and Development
Empire State Development Corporation published updated guidance regarding the designation of solar and storage construction activity on March 31. Please refer to the table below for clarification regarding essential construction and critical infrastructure.
Small Business Association Disaster Relief Loans
The Small Business Administration announced that it is extending disaster relief loans to small businesses, including nonprofits, to help alleviate economic injury caused by COVID-19. Working with state officials, SBA will be offering loans of up to $2 million through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. More information can be found here. New York has applied for eligibility for this program, and once approved, loans will be administered by the ESDC.
The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and other expenses. Small businesses are eligible if they also meet program size standards. If you wish to begin preparing your application, you can download a sample form to see the information that will be requested from you. Lenders will begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3. Under this program:
Eligible recipients may qualify for a loan up to $10 million determined by 8 weeks of prior average payroll plus an additional 25 percent of that amount.
Loan payments will be deferred for six months.
If you maintain your workforce, SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and certain other expenses following loan origination.
NYC Small Business Employee Retention Grant Program
The City is offering small businesses with fewer than 5 employees a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months to help retain employees. Please see the following Eligibility Criteria for businesses, including non-profits:
Be located within the five boroughs of New York City
Demonstrate that the COVID-19 outbreak caused at least a 25% decrease in revenue
Employ 1–4 employees in total across all locations
Have been in operation for at least 6 months
Have no outstanding tax liens or legal judgements
NYC Small Business Continuity Fund
Small businesses located in New York City that have been financially impacted by the pandemic are eligible to access the New York City Small Business Continuity Fund for interest-free loans up to $75,000 for businesses that meet the following requirements:
Located within one of the five boroughs of New York City
Experienced at least a 25% decrease in revenues
Employ less than 99 employees, and
Do not have any outstanding tax liens or legal judgments.
Eligible small businesses interested in applying for a Fund loan should be prepared to provide substantiation of the business’s drop in revenue from point of sale reports, bank statements, quarterly sales tax filings or CPA certified profit and loss statements, the business’s most recent tax returns (tax year 2019 if available) and demonstration that the business will be able to repay the loan. Business owners may apply online (Pre-Application for the NYC Small Business Continuity Loan Fund). Additional questions should be emailed to Covid19biz@sbs.nyc.gov.
Safe Work Guidelines
Reports from utilities indicate that interconnection application processing is continuing remotely.
Utility DG Ombudsmen have indicated that field work is also proceeding as normal, although NYSEIA has heard that in some cases DG field work has slowed down. NYSEIA will continue to monitor both items through close communication with utility DG Ombudspersons.
NYSEIA is engaging with the Department of Public Service (DPS) and the Public Service Commission (PSC) to place a temporary hold on 75 percent payment deadlines. The PSC is expected to issue an Order on this issue by early April. Please contact us immediately if you have feedback or concerns regarding this policy proposal.
Please use our template letter to towns in which you have active projects to advocate for remote permit processing, remotely conducted public meetings, and post-installation permitting checks.
If you would prefer NYSEIA to reach out to the towns in question, please email us with the relevant town/AHJ contact information.
Incentive Program Changes
NYSEIA is engaging with NYSERDA to extend or hold project completion timelines for MW-Block program eligibility.
NYSERDA will remain flexible with regard to MW-Block timelines. Please contact Max Joel at Max.Joel@nyserda.ny.gov for project-specific issues.
Unsolicited Telemarketing Ban
Unsolicited telemarketing calls to New York residents are prohibited during a state of emergency. Please see this National Law Review article for specifics.
The ban excludes calls made with prior express consent and calls to for-profit businesses and calls in which a transaction is not completed.
Resources from SEIA