NY to spend $13 million on affordable solar initiatives

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced at a clean energy event this week that it is to dedicate $13 million in funding this year to improves access to affordable solar power to communities in the state classed as low- and moderate-income.

In celebration of New York’s Shared Renewables program, Governor Andrew M Cuomo’s administration and additional state officials and community members have outlined ambitious plans to deliver equal access to solar power at affordable, bill-saving rates.

"Since we are on the frontlines of the climate crisis, it is imperative that we are at the forefront of change, driving a just transition to a new energy system that benefits the most vulnerable first," said UPROSE director Elizabeth Yeampierre.

UPROSE will work with fellow NYC-based organization Solar One to deliver the Shared Renewables project. "Our shared solar pilot project will specifically serve low-income renters with lower-cost, stable electricity. This project will provide necessary relief to Sunset Park families who are struggling to keep up with their electricity bills."

Elana Laichena, project manager for Solar One’s Here Comes Solar program, added: "Many of the families who have the most to benefit from low-cost solar energy have historically faced barriers like not owning their home or being able to afford a loan; that’s why shared solar is such a transformative concept."

NYSERDA’s $13 million support will comprise a series of financing incentives for rooftop solar and shared renewable projects in the state, and seeks to build on the historic NY-Sun and Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiatives that have already proven successful. New York currently has 456 MW of solar PV installed, making it one of the nation’s solar leaders.

"Record numbers of New Yorkers are harnessing sunshine to save on their energy bills, which is creating local jobs and reducing the need for traditional polluting power," said Vote Solar northeast regional manager Sean Garren. "This new program will empower even more communities, families and businesses to participate in that great solar success story."