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Dykes Lumber’s rooftop solar installation in Long Island City near the Queensboro Bridge. Photo: Steve Burns, EnterSolar.
Dykes Lumber’s rooftop solar installation in Long Island City near the Queensboro Bridge. Photo: Steve Burns, EnterSolar.
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Tenfold solar expansion approved for New York state

The Ecologist

25th April 2014

New York has approved a major expansion of the state's 'NY-Sun' initiative - a program that is boosting solar power across the state. The program has been extended through 2023 and aims to deliver a tenfold increase in the clean energy source.

This expansion will help exponentially increase that progress - taking us to a level never before seen in the state, and cementing New York as a national leader on solar power.

When the NY-Sun Initiative was launched in 2012 with the intention of making New York a national leader on solar energy, there weren't much more than a couple hundred rooftop installations in the state.

Now there are more than 250 megawatts of solar power installed in the state - a 150% increase since 2011 and enough to power nearly 40,000 homes. As much solar power was installed in the first two years of NY-Sun as in the entire preceding decade.

And now it's set to get a lot bigger. "This $1 billion investment underscores New York's commitment to growing the clean energy economy", said Governor Andrew Cuomo, announcing the solar plan.

"By providing long-term funding certainty, the State is attracting private sector investment, creating new economic opportunities and supporting sustainable development."

NY is already the US's #9 for solar

New York has gone from being ranked #12 in solar power nationwide, to take the #9 spot. The state has also taken the #5 spot nationwide for solar jobs with well over 400 solar companies employing over 5,000 New Yorkers.

"In just two years, New York has gone from a couple hundred rooftops with solar panels statewide to breaking into the top 10 spot for solar installations nationwide", commented NRDC Clean Energy Counsel Kit Kennedy.

"Already, solar power is helping to fight climate change, creating thousands of good-paying jobs in the state, and saving New Yorkers millions on their energy bills.

"That's just the start. This expansion will help exponentially increase that progress - taking us to a level never before seen in the state, and cementing New York as a national leader on solar power."

3,000 MW of solar planned

The expansion announced today is projected to take this success to another level with the following projected environmental & economic benefits for the state:

  • Building 3,000 MW of solar power, enough reliable clean electricity to power nearly half a million New York homes;
  • Reducing climate change pollution by another 2.3 million tons annually - the equivalent of taking almost 450,000 cars off the road;
  • Supporting nearly 10,000 local jobs at its height in a given year, or 52,000 total job-years for the duration of the program;
  • Generating a total of over $8.2 billion in local economic activity and output over the course of the program;
  • Energy savings worth hundreds of millions of dollars to New York consumers;
  • A more diversified state energy mix, which protects against price spikes.


Bringing down costs for everyone

"Part of NY-Sun's beauty is the way it's been designed to drive down solar costs for everybody", said Kennedy. "For large-scale projects, there's been a competitive bidding process that gets the state the most bang for its buck, while helping establish a going rate for solar installations across New York.

"Similarly, NY-Sun recently supported several large-scale collective purchasing projects, which allow residential and commercial customers to take advantage of the economies of scale that come when groups of consumers buy together in bulk.

"NY-Sun's incentives are also reducing so-called balance-of-system or 'soft' costs, helping to further bring prices down. And through NY-Sun, plans are underway to bring solar to our state's K-12 schools."

 


 

More information: to find out more about New York solar revolution see Kit Kennedy's blog on NRDC.org and the NY-Sun website.

 

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