New York is currently undergoing a boom in the adoption of solar power thanks to the efforts of Governor Cuomo and other officials. In 2013, development capacity surged to four times that of the previous year. The current initiative is set to further increase capacity in the coming years.
New York Solar
Governor Cuomo extended his NY Solar Initiative by 10 years last year. The public-private partnership was created to spur growth in the New York solar industry and reduce costs for consumers. In the time since its launch two years ago, the program has seen about 300 megawatts of solar capacity installed — a figure greater than installation over the entire previous decade. The program also reduces solar project costs by streamlining the permitting process. The extension should increase the program’s success, allowing a world-class market in solar to be built in New York.
The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) granted funding in December for the initiative through 2015 and also granted authorization to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYESERDA) to expand and enhance the program through the year 2023.
Last year, Gov. Cuomo created a $1 billion Green Bank designed to focus on leveraging public money to generate private sector investment in New York’s emerging clean energy economy. Initial products are expected from the Green Bank this year.
New York Solar Capacity
New York now ranks 12th in the U.S. for installed solar capacity with sufficient solar power for almost 31,000 homes. Over 411 solar companies work in New York and employ over 3,300 people.
New York is also seeking ways of reducing the costs of solar development by assisting local governments in adopting permitting procedures and model zoning and financing options. The next phase of the NY solar initiative will establish Community Solar NY — a community solar package that promises to make solar energy an option for any New Yorker who wants it.
K-Solar is another exciting part of the solar NY initiative that will offer incentives, technical assistance, and financing to any school interested in lowering its energy costs and fostering a more healthy environment for its students with on-site installations. The New York Power Authority and NYSERDA will be using schools as demonstration hubs to develop community aggregation models to bring solar to entire neighborhoods, lowering installation costs and raising purchasing power.