“New York continues to be an example to other states with our aggressive development of renewable energy, and our commitment to clean, affordable solar is key to us successfully building a zero-emission electricity grid,” Hochul said.
“The completion of this project marks another major milestone in the Empire State and reflects a successful trend of private investment in community-centered projects that are now at the heart of our clean energy transition.”
The community solar project, comprised of more than 17,000 panels, was completed on May 26, 2023, and generates 8.5 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean power annually, enough to power over 1,600 homes, while reducing carbon emission by nearly 6,000 metric tons annually, the equivalent of taking over 1,200 cars off the road.
The over $8 million project, sited in the Town of Montgomery, was built with nearly $5 million in private investment from the developer, PowerFlex – a national provider of solar, storage, and electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions for commercial customers, and is now owned by Medline Industries.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) provided over $3 million in project support through NY-Sun, the State’s signature initiative to advance the scale-up of solar while driving costs down and making solar energy more accessible to homes, businesses, and communities.
NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen Harris said, “Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, New York is the nation’s top community solar market – attracting new strategic private-public partnerships to help us transform the way we power homes and businesses. The vision and commitment shared by Medline Industries and Powerflex for this project serves as a model to other commercial properties considering hosting similar projects that can reduce their carbon footprint while expanding access to solar for residents in the surrounding community.”
Community solar involves a large array of solar panels that allows homeowners and renters to access solar power without installing panels on their homes. Energy is still delivered through their regular electric provider while the power produced from the community solar array is fed directly back to the electric grid and customers receive credits on their electricity bill.
Medline’s distribution center, which opened in August 2022, employs more than 700 people distributing products and devices to healthcare providers, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and ambulatory surgery centers. The facility will utilize 40 percent of the clean energy generated by the solar project, leaving 60 percent available for approximately 600 residents, who can subscribe to the system and receive credits on their electricity bill for an estimated 10 percent monthly savings.
In exchange for a commitment to retain 344 and create 266 new jobs, Empire State Development awarded Medline up to $10 million in Excelsior Jobs Tax Credits.
This announcement builds on New York’s success under NY-Sun, through which solar across the state has grown over 3,000 percent since 2012, leveraged over $7.4 billion in private investments and decreased the cost of solar by 72 percent since the initiative’s inception. There are currently over 4,600 megawatts of distributed solar in operation, with nearly 3,500 megawatts in late-stage development moving towards completion.
In 2022, New York became the top community solar market in the United States, providing nearly half of the nation’s community solar capacity last year. There are approximately 13,400 people engaged in solar jobs across New York.