Gov. Hochul announces New York to receive nearly $250M for solar projects for low income residents

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that New York is one of 60 applicants selected to receive funding by the United States Environmental Protection Agency through the $7 billion federal Solar for All grant competition for solar projects benefitting low-income New Yorkers.
Gov. Hochul announces New York to receive nearly $250M for solar projects for low income residents
Courtesy of NREL.

The state is expected to receive nearly $250 million to expand New York State’s national leadership and commitment to increase access to clean, affordable solar energy to low-income residents. The announcement supports New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection goal to obtain 70 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources such as solar by 2030.

“New York State has positioned itself as a leader in community solar, ensuring more residents than ever before have access to clean, affordable solar energy” Governor Hochul said. “We thank President Biden, Administrator Regan, and the New York Congressional Delegation for their support and are proud to partner with the Environmental Protection Agency to advance this historic investment in community solar and build a clean and healthy future for New Yorkers.”

The grant funding, awarded to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) on behalf of coalition partners New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), the City of New York, and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), will allow New York to expand benefits for disadvantaged communities and low-income residents by enhancing the State’s portfolio of highly successful and effective solar deployment, technical assistance, and workforce development programmes, as a part of the NY-Sun initiative.

NYSERDA will also implement new programmes that target specific barriers to solar deployment for low-income New Yorkers, partnering with HCR, the City of New York and HPD to do so. The finalisation and execution of award agreements is expected by this summer, at which point NYSERDA will work with coalition partners and stakeholders to design and implement Solar for All funded programmes over the five-year programme period.

The EPA Solar for All award will fulfill a critical need to build out New York’s proven, robust rooftop and community solar programmes serving residential customers. The funding will expand solar access for the New York City low-income market with support to allow for infrastructure upgrades, provide increased benefits to disadvantaged residents, and tackle the barriers of affordable and multi-family housing solar deployment. It will also allow for the continuation of crucial workforce development programmes and extend the reach of residential solar to diverse urban, suburban and rural communities across the state.

“We’re delivering on President Biden’s promise that no community is left behind by investing $7 billion in solar energy projects for over 900,000 households in low-income and disadvantaged communities” added EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “The selectees will advance solar energy initiatives across the country, creating hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs, saving $8 billion in energy costs for families, delivering cleaner air, and combating climate change.”

The Solar For All grant competition is funded by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda through the Inflation Reduction Act, which created EPA’s $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. Consistent with New York’s Climate Act, the EPA’s Solar for All program also advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which set the goal that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, and other investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. All of the funds awarded through the Solar for All program will be invested in low-income and disadvantaged communities.

The announcement builds on New York State's success as the nation’s leading community solar market, which has been underpinned by robust support from NYSERDA's NY-Sun initiative, the state's signature $3.3 billion solar initiative. Currently, installed distributed solar projects, combined with the projects that are under development, bring the State to over 90 percent of the current goal to install 10 gigawatts of distributed solar by 2030.

New York State's climate agenda calls for an orderly and just transition that creates family-sustaining jobs, continues to foster a green economy across all sectors and ensures that at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities.

Guided by some of the nation’s most aggressive climate and clean energy initiatives, New York is advancing a suite of efforts – including the New York Cap-and-Invest programme (NYCI) and other complementary policies – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and 85 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels.

New York is also on a path to achieving a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and economy-wide carbon neutrality by mid-century. A cornerstone of this transition is New York's unprecedented clean energy investments, including more than $28 billion in 61 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce building emissions, $3.3 billion to scale up solar, nearly $3 billion for clean transportation initiatives and over $2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments.

These and other investments are supporting more than 170,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector as of 2022 and over 3,000 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, New York also adopted zero-emission vehicle regulations, including requiring all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks sold in the State be zero emission by 2035.

Partnerships are continuing to advance New York’s climate action with more than 400 registered and more than 130 certified Climate Smart Communities, nearly 500 Clean Energy Communities, and the state’s largest community air monitoring initiative in 10 disadvantaged communities across the State to help target air pollution and combat climate change.

For additional information:

Governor of the State of New York

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)

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