New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that state-supported solar power in New York increased nearly 800 percent from December 2011 to December 2016, following nearly $1.5 billion in private investment. Solar growth is critical to the Governor’s Clean Energy Standard aiming to achieve 50 percent of New York’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
“New York is a national leader in clean energy, and the tremendous growth of the solar industry across this state demonstrates this renewable technology’s increased accessibility and affordability for residents and businesses” Governor Cuomo said. “Our investments in this clean energy resource create jobs, reduce carbon emissions, support economic growth, and help build a cleaner, greener New York for all.”
Richard L. Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York added that under the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy, solar power is integral to driving the State’s clean energy economy while reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Clean, renewable energy will help the State meet its aggressive energy goals, make electricity more affordable for New Yorkers and bring about a more resilient and versatile energy system.
The 795 percent solar growth in the State over the last five years was supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the New York Power Authority, the Long Island Power Authority and other private and public sector actors. 64,926 projects were installed through the end of 2016, compared with 9,079 through the end of 2011. These state-supported projects total nearly 744 MW of solar power installed, sufficient to meet the needs of more than 121,000 average homes.
The significant growth of solar power is attributed to a combination of factors, including the NY-Sun Megawatt Block Incentive programme, a decline in solar equipment prices, and growth in the number of installer businesses marketing solar directly to consumers.
The largest percentage increase in solar power was in the Mohawk Valley, followed by the Finger Lakes Region, Central New York and the Southern Tier. Long Island has more installations than any other region of the State, followed by the Mid-Hudson Valley and Capital Region.
On Long Island, there were more than 28,000 solar projects installed from the end of 2011 through the end of 2016, accounting for more than 260 MW, enough to power more than 35,000 average homes. The projects resulted from both the NY-Sun program and LIPA/PSEG Long Island solar programmes.
With a total of more than 38,000 solar projects, including the more than 28,000 installed over the last five years, Long Island is the first New York region to meet the State’s megawatt block target for the residential market, underscoring the effectiveness and success of NY-Sun and the other Long Island utility programmes. The momentum across Long Island is expected to continue because of federal and state tax credits, affordable financing for underserved communities, and an established market of solar developers.
In addition to the new solar installations over the last five years, more than 886 MW of additional solar power was under development in the State as of the end of last year, enough to power more than 150,000 average homes.
In 2014, Governor Cuomo made a historic commitment of nearly $1 billion to NY-Sun to stimulate the marketplace and increase the number of solar electric systems across the State over 10 years. NY-Sun aims to add more than three GW of installed solar capacity in the State by 2023. One gigawatt equals 1,000 megawatts. New York now has more than 8,000 workers engaged in solar jobs.
Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York's economy. REV aims to build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency and generating 50 percent of the state's electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030. Already, REV has driven 795 percent growth in the statewide solar market, enabled over 105,000 low-income households to permanently cut their energy bills with energy efficiency, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean-tech sectors. The programme is aiming to enable New York State to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030, achieving the internationally-recognised target of reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050.
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