Mississippi Solar Incentives: Lower Cost of Solar Panels in MS, Tax Credits

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Solar Panels | March 15, 2024

Man holding a solar panel is grabbing cash from Mississippi solar incentives after learning how to lower the cost of solar panels in Mississippi with the solar tax credit, state rebates, net metering, and Power purchasing agreements for MS solar farms.

Languishing in 36th place for adopting solar panels, Mississippi solar incentives are designed to lower cost of solar panels in Mississippi using solar tax credits and other rebate and financing programs.

In fact, these options are just now starting to have an impact on energy consumption throughout the state.

It has been an uphill struggle as the state relies heavily on natural gas and, despite the incentive programs making solar more accessible, the overall price of PV systems still remains one of the most expensive in the country.

This guide explains how you can use Mississippi solar incentives to reduce the cost of solar panels in Mississippi for your home solar installation or business.

Cost of Solar Panels Mississippi: How Much Are Solar Panels in Mississippi?

In the space of a few months from October 2022, the electricity rates in Mississippi increased by 14%, putting further pressure on residents due to the rising cost of fossil fuels.

Solar panels partially mounted both on the wall and roof of a house gathering sunlight and serves as a shade on the terrace.

(Image: USEPA Environmental-Protection-Agency12)

Many homeowners began to consider solar power as their energy source in an effort to control the constant fluctuations in their bills. The cost of solar panels Mississippi is proving to be something of a roadblock, however.

With the median household income hovering around $50,000, it is difficult for a homeowner to justify, never mind being able to afford, spending $30,360 on a PV system.

It is common knowledge that solar panels will save thousands on energy bills but if the system is unaffordable, what options are available?

Mississippi Solar Incentives

In Mississippi, there are a range of incentives yet not as many as in other states.

The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC),1 which is available in every state, is immensely helpful by slashing 30% off taxes owed to the government.

It doesn’t deduct 30% directly from the price of the system but acts as a reduction in the taxes that you don’t no end up paying to the IRS.

Deducting 30% from your solar quote of $30,360 would save $9,108 in tax liabilities. The full $30,360 would still have to be paid upfront, with the credits recouped through your taxes.

If for the first year, your taxes are less than $9,108, then the balance would be rolled over to the following year when more deductions would occur. This rollover aspect of the program continues for up to a maximum of 5 years so most working residents should be able to apply for it.

Application is via form 5695 which has to be submitted every year with your tax forms with all the details of the PV system included.11

When the ITC expires in 2035, it will have been running for 30 years, but before that deadline, the percentage will be reduced in 2033 to 26% and then further to 22% in 2034.

How Does the Solar Tax Credit Work if I Don’t Owe Taxes for One Year?

The ITC is an invaluable tax credit when investing in any solar project. With the 5-year period to claim the full amount, there may be a year when you have nothing to send to the tax man, which is normally good news.

So, how does the solar tax credit work if I don’t owe taxes? The balance of the tax credit will remain the same until the following year and will still be available to be claimed for the remainder of the grace period.

If, at the end of that time, all the credits are not claimed, then they will simply expire and no longer be available.

Also in other circumstances, if you are on a fixed income, out of work, or not a home or business owner, then you will not be ineligible to apply and would have to rely on other Mississippi solar incentives to go solar.

Solar Panel Cost Calculator Mississippi: City by City

The Federal energy credits go a long way in mitigating the large initial expenditure required to purchase the entire system because you know from the moment of acceptance that you will be able to recoup 30% of the money you have invested.

Solar panels installed in a tilted position near the road, capturing direct sunlight.

(Image: Photo by Chris Collins13)

The cost of solar panels Mississippi at $30,360 will include a battery storage bank but before any incentives are applied.2

In an effort to save money without sacrificing, many homeowners forego the installation of a storage backup system, often saving in excess of $10,000.

Using the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

Just omitting that expensive piece of equipment would reduce the price to just $20,000, a slightly more affordable sum.

Minus the 30 percent ITC incentive, $13,000 – $14,000 would be the average price for a system in Mississippi depending on several on-site variables.

Surprisingly, there is quite a large price variation from one city to the next, and below you can see how prices vary by thousands of dollars across the state, even with the ITC already taken into account.

City Average Cost of Solar Panels Without Battery Storage Size of Panels in Watts Payback Period
1. Alcorn $13,876 5.8 kW 6.2-7.6 Years
2. Benton $12,111 5.4 kW 5.8-7.1 Years
3. Bolivar $10,867 5.1 kW 5.5-6.7 Years
4. Claiborne $13,485 5.7 kW 6.1-7.5 Years
5. Coahoma $12,457 5.5 kW 5.9-7.2 Years
6. Desoto $14,123 5.8 kW 6.3-7.7 Years
7. Greene $10,229 5.0 kW 5.3-6.5 Years
8. Grenada $13,933 5.8 kW 6.2-7.6 Years
9. Hancock $13,723 5.7 kW 6.2-7.6 Years

Graphic chart for the average cost of solar panels without battery storage.

City Average Cost of Solar Panels Without Battery Storage Size of Panels in Watts Payback Period
10. Harriston $10,263 5.7 kW 9.6-11.8 Years
11. Jackson $10,180 5.1 kW 10-12.3 Years
12. Kemper $11,949 5.4 kW 5.8-7 Years
13. Lafayette $11,753 5.3 kW 5.7-7 Years
14. Lamar $16,501 7.0 kW 12.6-15.4 Years
15. Lauderdale $13,105 5.6 kW 6-7.4 Years
16. Leake $16,303 6.9 kW 11.4-14 Years
17. Lee $10,059 4.9 kW 5.3-6.5 Years
18. Marshall $13,240 5.6 kW 6.1-7.4 Years

Graphic chart for the average cost of solar panels without battery storage.

City Average Cost of Solar Panels Without Battery Storage Size of Panels in Watts Payback Period
19. Newton $11,458 5.2 kW 5.6-6.9 Years
20. Panola $14,242 5.8 kW 6.3-7.7 Years
21. Pearl River $9,998 4.9 kW 5.3-6.4 Years
22. Pontotoc $10,415 5.0 kW 5.4-6.6 Years
23. Prentiss $12,159 5.4 kW 5.8-7.1 Years
24. Quitman $9,615 4.8 kW 5.2-6.3 Years
25. Rankin $11,978 5.6 kW 11.3-13.8 Years
26. Stone $10,002 4.9 kW 5.3-6.4 Years
27. Sunflower $12,545 5.5 kW 5.9-7.2 Years

Graphic chart for the average cost of solar panels without battery storage.

City Average Cost of Solar Panels Without Battery Storage Size of Panels in Watts Payback Period
28. Tate $10,304 5.0 kW 5.4-6.5 Years
29. Tippah $11,776 5.3 kW 5.7- 7 Years
30. Tishomingo $10,790 5.1 kW 5.5-6.7 Years
31. Tunica $11,491 5.3 kW 5.7-6.9 years
32. Union $13,820 5.8 kW 6.2-7.6 Years
33. Washington $12,818 5.5 kW 6-7.3 Years
34. Webster $12,569 5.5 kW 5.9-7.2 Years
35. Yazoo $13,420 5.7 kW 6.1-7.5 Years

Graphic chart for the average cost of solar panels without battery storage.

The size of the solar array in Mississippi is consistently about 6 kW with some cities adopting 4.8 kW and others 7 kW. Another variable, apart from your rooftop’s potential to hold a lot of panels,3 is the payback period.

This kicks in from as little as 5.5 years in Quitman to as much as 15.4 years in Lamar, and that’s a big difference.

Both of these two factors play a pivotal role in solar panel costs and the potential savings accrued from installing a rooftop solar system.

Related Reading: How Much Do Solar Panels Cost In Your State? (Hidden Fees, Tax Credits)

Solar Power Mississippi: Peak Sun Hours

A natural component that will influence how effective a PV system is in your state will revolve around how many peak hours of sunshine your property is blessed with.

Map of the state of Mississippi with each county colored to show the daily peak sun hours in each Mississippi county ranging from 4.57 to 4.97 daily hours of sunlight.

Mississippi has on average 4.44 hours of peak sun a day for a fixed solar array system that just points in one direction.

A system mounted on an axis tracker will capture more rays as it follows the sun as it sweeps across the sky, maintaining the cells’ exposure to the sun for as long as possible.

City Average Sun Hours Fixed Array Average Sun Hours With a Tracker Payback Period
1. Benton 4.6 6.6 5.8-7.1 Years
2. Bolivar 5.1 6.8 5.5-6.7 Years
3. Grenada 5.2 7 6.2-7.6 Years
4. Harriston 4.5 7 9.6-11.8 Years
5. Lauderdale 4.8 7.3 6-7.4 Years
6. Newton 4.9 6.3 5.6-6.9 Years
7. Pearl River 4.6 6.6 5.3-6.4 Years
8. Pontotoc 4.5 7.1 5.4-6.6 Years

Graphic chart for Mississippi peak sun hours.

City Average Sun Hours Fixed Array Average Sun Hours With a Tracker Payback Period
9. Prentiss 4.8 6.5 5.8-7.1 Years
10. Quitman 4.5 6.8 5.2-6.3 Years
11. Sunflower 4.5 6.6 5.9-7.2 Years
12. Tishomingo 5.1 7.1 5.5-6.7 Years
13. Tunica 5.2 6.5 5.7-6.9 years
14. Union 4.5 7 6.2-7.6 Years
15. Washington 4.8 6.5 6-7.3 Years
16. Yazoo 5.2 6.6 6.1-7.5 Years

Graphic chart for Mississippi peak sun hours.

The chart above of just a few of the cities in Mississippi reveals the difference in peak sun hours that can change within a few miles due to the equipment used to track or not to track the sun.

This additional piece of equipment will add an extra cost to the bill, but it is optional. There is no doubt that the increase in solar absorption from using a solar tracker will be higher than with fixed-angle racking and will increase the energy output from your solar array.4

Let’s break it down.

If your area receives 4.5 hours a day that essentially equates to 4.5 kWh of sunshine per square meter. To find out how much power will be emitted from your system per day can be calculated by multiplying the peak sun hours by the rating of your system.

Quitman, for example, would have these readings.

  • 4.5(PS) X 4.8 Panel watts = 21 kWh per day
  • 21 X 31 days = 651 kWh per month.

That calculation is not factoring in any obstructions to your panel or cloud cover which will alter the results.

With the use of a solar tracker in Quitman, the results would be

  • 6.8 X 4.8 = 32 kWh per day
  • 32 X 31 = 992 kWh per month

Now, most houses prefer not to splurge on the extra expenses of a solar tracker as this nifty piece of kit, although effective, will add thousands more onto the final price, and the jury’s out whether they are worth the extra expenditure.

The reason why peak sun hours are important is that an average house in Mississippi requires about 1,170 kWh per month, much higher than the national figure of 980 kWh, accompanied by a bill of $163.

The kWh per month that your system is providing to your property will therefore determine the payback period.

So how is that calculated?

Payback Period for Solar Panels for Home in Mississippi

The payback period is when the money you have paid out for the PV system has been recouped by the savings from your electricity bill.

That level of saving will be affected by the peak sun hours found in your area.5 This determines how much solar irradiation your array absorbs and then turns it into kWh to operate your appliances.

Sounds a bit complicated but if we use Quitman as a further example, it’s possible to calculate when the payback period would be approximately.

Renewable Energy Consumption Rate in MS

In Mississippi, the electricity rate is about $0.14, and electricity bills are about $163, with a kWh consumption of 1170.

Pie chart showing Mississippi renewable energy consumption including Mississippi wind energy, biomass energy, geothermal energy, hydroelectric energy and solar energy in the state of Mississippi for 2022.

The electricity bill is calculated by multiplying:

  • 1170 X $0.14 = $163

The savings are accrued from the electricity produced from your panels and is calculated using this formula:

  • 651 X $.14 = $91 kWh per month in solar panels saving
  • $91 X 12 = 1,092
  • $9,615 / 1,092 = 8.8 years payback point

There are other Mississippi solar incentives that will deduct more dollars from the price of $9,615 which will save money and reduce the payback period in Quitman even further.

Savings on your utility bill will be noticeable very quickly, but it’s not until you pass that payback period, when all your initial costs have been recouped through the monthly electricity deductions, that you will start to really make savings.

Installing a larger kWh PV system will shorten the time to reach this break-even point as will having more peak sunlight hours and better incentives.

Mississippi Solar Program (Mississippi Solar Rebates)

On the whole, Mississippi doesn’t have the best rebate programs in the country. Individual counties and cities in the state have developed programs for their own residents, and it is these solar rebates from the government that has resulted in a wide range of prices.

They generally work through a cashback system from an electrical power association company rewarding their customers with financial incentives and perks for energy-saving upgrades and installations.

Ranging from $25 to $1,000, you can apply for several rebates at once, either from government departments or with your utility provider. If you are accepted, you will lower the cost of solar panels Mississippi and bring that payback period closer, and save you money sooner.

Mississippi Solar Incentives and Net Metering Mississippi

An alternative to having an expensive battery storage bank that retains excess energy accrued during the day is actually with your energy provider.

All that underutilized energy has to be stored somewhere for later use when the sun goes down or even for another day when the clouds are out in force.

Solar panels mounted on a rooftop with tools placed on top, used for tightening the racking rails.

(Image: Photo by Kristelle Batucal14)

The service that is offered by utility companies in Mississippi is called Distributed Generation and works just like net metering – and it won’t cost you a penny.

Instead of sending unused electricity into a battery bank, a smart meter that will record the kWh pricing and usage is installed in your home.6

It functions by monitoring how many kWh your home uses and how many are dispersed to the grid and continually adjusts the balance.

  • If your house uses 1,000 kWh in a month and your PV system produces 700 kWh, then you will pay for only 300 kWh.
  • On the other hand, if your property only consumes 600 kWh for a particular month, then 100 kWh will be rolled over to the next month so your bill will be in credit and you will have nothing to pay.

All this is calculated automatically by your new shiny meter.

The credit is based on the wholesale cost of electricity, sometimes known as the “avoided cost.” You receive a credit of between 2.3 and 3.6 cents for every kWh of solar energy that you provide to the grid, plus a distributed energy credit of 2.5 cents.

All of these credit amounts will be different from utility providers so always confer with yours so there won’t be any surprises.

Customers of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) are eligible for Solar Power Performance Payments and receive a nice surprise in the form of a cash-back reward.

The program is based on the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) produced by your PV system and is known as SRECs.

Although not funneling thousands of dollars a month into your bank account, Solar Renewable Energy Credits will contribute toward your investment paying for itself in savings even quicker.

There is a further incentive for low-income households where they receive an additional 2 cents per kWh charge as long as they qualify as such.

But still, not everyone will be able to afford a PV system despite the availability of rebates and incentives. For those who need an alternative route to adopt solar energy, an option for entry into the world of solar power is to consider registering for a solar farm.

Mississippi Solar Farm (Solar Panel Installation)

At the moment there is a land rush in Mississippi that is quietly going on in broad daylight.

Solar power business owners, investors, entrepreneurs, and cooperatives are knocking on the doors of landowners and farmers in an effort to lease their land for commercial solar panels.7 Mississippi has a lot of land and a lot of farms.

Map showing locations of solar plants in Mississippi using yellow markers and Mississippi solar panels with a US cut out showing the location of the state of Mississippi.

In terms of land size, there are over 10 million acres of open spaces in Mississippi, encompassing more than 30% of the state, and across those acres of open land are nearly 35,000 farms of agricultural produce and livestock.

When a farmer enters into a lease agreement with a utility company, like some have already in Jackson, Ruleville, and Hattiesburg, they can expect to receive a passive income per acre.

The amount varies on location and access to utility lines and is agreed upon by both parties on for short-to-long-term contracts from 5 -25 years.

Other commercial projects are constantly being launched with bigger and bigger multimillion-dollar investments, including the most recent in Sunflower County and soon-to-be even more expansive community farm in Madison County.

The Golden Triangle is another project coming online soon that is funded privately by an investment of $200 million.

The solar farms within the triangle are going to have the capacity to serve electricity to 42,000 homes and will hold 650,000 solar panels spaced over 3,900 acres.

Not all solar farms have to be this grand, however.

For those unable to afford or do not have the space for a PV system anywhere on their property, a community farm could be a good option either to pool resources to erect one on a small tract of land or subscribe to one close to your home.

A prime example is the construction of 2 solar farms with just 5 MW of power each to be constructed on farmland in Drew and operated under a leasing agreement between the landowners and a solar farm development company.

This unique project is open to local community members to purchase shares for as little as $1.

As a shareholder, you would be credited proportionally by the number of purchased shares in kWh through a net metering interconnected system from the grid to your home.

Both solar and grid electricity is fed into the smart meter in your home and works under the same premise as net metering, balancing what kWh is consumed and what is not.

Due to the minimal 5MW size, construction on the chosen site is very quick, with licenses, finances, and rural grants organized at pace within manageable budgets.

Solar farms on this scale are an easy way for your home to become solarized, to save money on your utility bills, and without having to make a large investment.

It can also open the door to possibly making a passive income from any excess kWh that you have contracted for that remains unutilized to be sold back to the grid at an agreed-upon price.

Low-start-up commercial farms like this one in Drew in your area may work under a different model. Instead of selling shares, the corporation may operate under a subscription system where you would purchase a set amount of kWh a month at a lower rate than the grid rate.

Again under net metering, this is then credited against your utility bills, and you only pay for the reduced amount on your bill every month.

Mississippi may not be the best state for solar installations,8 sitting in 36th place, but neither is it one of the worst states for solar energy.

Solar Panel Installation Cost: Mississippi Solar Farm Cost of Solar Panels in Mississippi

There is no reason why you couldn’t organize a small community farm in conjunction with a local farmer or co-op to install PV arrays yourself, either by signing a leasing agreement or buying a parcel of land.

Four individuals collaborating to install racking rails for solar panels on a rooftop.

(Image: Photo by Paul Krashefski15)

Trying to find a way how to get solar panels for free in Mississippi is not possible, but with a company specializing in taking community solar farm projects from idea to functioning, it is almost achievable.

A large surface area is not necessary if your intention is just to generate sufficient power for 20-30 homeowners, but it really needs to be no less than 10 acres.

Close proximity to a utility substation’s high-voltage transmission line is crucial, with road access being a must-have for any maintenance work or upgrades during the lifetime of the project.

A Power Purchase Agreement loan is an excellent financing tool to get your solar project underway with little-to-no upfront costs and is used by many professionals who have constructed solar farms of all sizes.

If you’re in a position to be the owner of 10 acres of land, turning it into a solar farm will generate a nice clean renewable income and is not a mammoth task, especially when a professional solar farm development company is brought on board to walk you through the whole process.

Related Reading: Solar Farm Income Per Acre Calculator: See Profit Margin, Costs, Money Made

How To Eliminate the Carbon Footprint Solar Panels: Mississippi Solar Incentives

The higher-than-average cost of solar panels Mississippi starts to be accrued from the very beginning through the mining and manufacturing process.

The lack of Mississippi solar incentives also inflates the costs to residents and doesn’t help the situation of carbon footprint solar panels much.

Apart from price, another concern you may have is the carbon footprint generated from production to the disposal of solar panels when they eventually reach the end-of-life stage when they are disposed of in landfills.

Fortunately, improvements in mining techniques are starting to reduce the reliance on fossil-powered furnaces.

The leading cause of millions of panels being discarded in landfills across the country is the inability to profitably harvest the still useful components inside the modules as they are so integrated.

For installers, it has been cheaper just to throw them away rather than spend countless man-hours and expensive resources to extract trace materials for reuse.

Recycling technology and Federal and government incentives, as well as trying to avoid a climate catastrophe when the chemicals and toxic metals such as cadmium leech into the soil, have spurred the industry as a whole into making adjustments to tackle climate change.9

Now, the manufacturing process has become simplified with the panels currently being assembled in such a way that in 30 years’ time, they will be just as easy to break down and the components reused.

Repurposing 20-year-old panels to lessen the carbon footprint is being undertaken now in Mississippi by companies in Lauderdale County, for example, and there are many more national companies whose principal focus is on recycling older solar panels.

All of these renewal companies and incentives are creating a secondary industry that is predicted to be worth billions in the years to come as more and more solar modules are phased out and in need of recycling.

Are Solar Panels Worth It in Mississippi?

With a fairly good peak sun, Mississippi has a fair level of exposure that can be converted into electricity daily.

Solar panels installed on the ground in a tilted position, with a colorful rainbow arching above.

(Image: Photo by Whitney Beadle16)

With the correct sizing of the PV system, savings on utility bills are realized very quickly.

That’s not to say you can’t go full solar if you want to and sever your link to the grid once and for all. It all boils down to the size of the system you get installed.

If going totally off-grid is your dream, then it can be realized in Mississippi to completely produce as much electricity as your appliances consume.

Just as there have been technological advancements that reduce how much are solar panels in Mississippi, as well as in the efficiency of recycling solar panels, no doubt there will be more Mississippi solar incentives to lower the cost of solar panels in Mississippi using a variety of programs. over the next few years.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mississippi Solar Incentives

Are There Any New Rebate Programs To Lower the Cost of Solar Panels Mississippi?

Fortunately, yes. A new program is being formed that will allow residents in Mississippi to claim a rebate of up to $3,500 and will be up and running in late 2023 in order to lower the cost of solar panels Mississippi.

Is There a Mississippi Solar Tax Credit Exemption Program?

There is not. Unlike some states, Mississippi does not have exemptions on sales tax or an exemption on property taxes due to increased property valuation because of the installation of a PV system.

Does Solar Increase Home Value?

Installing a rooftop PV system, even with the help of Mississippi solar incentives, does solar increase home value by about 4% as they are classed as home improvements.

Why Are Solar Panels So Expensive?

The mining and manufacturing processes are intensive and contribute towards the end price of the cost of solar panels Mississippi that’s why are solar panels so expensive.10 But there are also hidden costs and additional pieces of equipment that are often needed.


1University of Cincinnati. (2023). IRA Updates to the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). UC NEWS. Retrieved June 19, 2023, from <https://www.uc.edu/news/articles/2023/01/gc-ira-updates-to-the-solar-investment-tax-credit-itc.html>

2Stauffer, N. W. (2023, April 7). Flow batteries for grid-scale energy storage. MIT News. Retrieved June 19, 2023, from <https://news.mit.edu/2023/flow-batteries-grid-scale-energy-storage-0407>

3Solar Energy Technologies Office. (2023). Solar Rooftop Potential. Office of ENERGY EFFICIENCY & RENEWABLE ENERGY. Retrieved June 19, 2023, from <https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/solar-rooftop-potential>

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6Kahn, M. E., & Krishnamachari, B. (2022, October 18). Smart meters and dynamic pricing can help consumers use electricity when it’s less costly, saving money and easing pollution. USC Dornsife. Retrieved June 19, 2023, from <https://dornsife.usc.edu/news/stories/smart-meters-and-dynamic-pricing/>

7UREVIG, A. (2015, November 2). 6 things we learned about the power of community solar. Institute on the Environment. Retrieved June 19, 2023, from <https://environment.umn.edu/events/6-things-we-learned-about-the-power-of-community-solar/>

8California Institute of Technology. (2023). Can Our Electricity Grid Run on Alternative Energies? Caltech. Retrieved June 19, 2023, from <https://scienceexchange.caltech.edu/topics/sustainability/electricity-grid-renewable-energy-wind-solar>

9Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (2023). What We Know About Climate Change. Climate Portal. Retrieved June 19, 2023, from <https://climate.mit.edu/what-we-know-about-climate-change>

10Solar Energy Technologies Office. (2023). Solar Manufacturing. Office of ENERGY EFFICIENCY & RENEWABLE ENERGY. Retrieved June 19, 2023, from <https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/solar-manufacturing>

11IRS. (2022). IRS. Residential Energy Credits. Retrieved June 19, 2023, from <https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f5695.pdf>

12USEPA Environmental-Protection-Agency. Flickr. Retrieved from <https://flic.kr/p/ocQwfh>

13Photo by Chris Collins. Flickr. Retrieved from <https://flic.kr/p/XWpqwm>

14Photo by Kristelle Batucal. Flickr. Retrieved from <https://flic.kr/p/YjnWPg>

15Photo by Paul Krashefski. Flickr. Retrieved from <https://flic.kr/p/Y2NGDq>

16Photo by Whitney Beadle. Flickr. Retrieved from <https://flic.kr/p/WNYVrc>