New York State to support 214 MW of new solar PV

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced an estimated US$94 million in new funding through the NY-SUN program for projects awarded through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Competitive PV program.

The funds will support 142 PV projects for a total of 214 MW of new PV capacity. Governor Cuomo’s office estimates that this is a 68% increase on the 316 MW of solar PV installed and in the pipeline in New York State at the end of 2013.

The Competitive PV program awarded the projects based on a competitive solicitation for projects above 200 kW, in an effort to stimulate the market for mid-sized solar. NY-SUN funding will be paid out on these projects both at project completion and annually a performance basis, and Governor’s Office expects the NY-SUN funding to leverage US$375 million in private investment.

The state of New York notes that the level of incentives is declining for NY-SUN projects under the competitive solicitation. In utility ConEdison’s service territory, which includes New York City, the state was providing roughly US$1.00 per watt a year ago, and in this latest round will be providing only $0.55 per watt. In the rest of the state, the level of incentives has fallen from $0.68 per watt to $0.41 per watt.

“We are moving toward having a self-sustaining solar industry here, that would not require incentives from the state,” explains NYSERDA Assistant Director of Communications Dayle Zatlin.

The average capacity of systems has also more than doubled from the previous round to an average capacity of 1.8 MW, and the large majority of capacity is ground-mounted. The majority of the projects are located at businesses, schools and school district properties, with 36 MW on government properties.

The announcement follows on the heels of the roll-out of a new program for solar at New York state schools.