Gov. Cuomo announces 850 solar projects through second round of solarize campaign
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that 850 solar projects have been installed or are in development in communities across New York State through the second round of locally-organized “Solarize” campaigns. Launched by the Governor in December 2014, New York’s Solarize program is an important component in supporting the State’s Clean Energy Standard, which requires that 50 percent of the electricity in New York to come from renewable sources by 2030.
“New York continues to see unprecedented growth in the solar energy industry across the state, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing jobs, and driving economic growth,” Governor Cuomo said. “By helping residents and businesses install solar energy panels, we are reducing costs for consumers and fueling the clean energy economy in New York for years to come.”
The announcement was made at an event in Brownsville, Brooklyn, where more than 200 homes have been outfitted with solar panels as part of the “Solarize Brownsville” campaign. Solarize Brownsville brought together community partners, local residents, and the selected solar installer to successfully demonstrate that solar power can make an impact in low- to moderate-income communities.
Building on this momentum, NYSERDA and the Center for Economic Growth launched the first state-supported Solarize campaign aimed at helping manufacturers install clean-energy producing solar systems. The campaign will bring together potential solar customers in the Capital Region to receive competitive pricing through joint purchasing arrangements.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provided $700,000 in technical and marketing support in the first two rounds of the Solarize program, in 2015 and 2016. Projects in rounds one and two total 13.46 megawatts of installed solar and will save participants a total of approximately $2.9 million on upfront purchase costs, for an average savings of $1,743 per installation.
Solarize campaigns bring together groups of potential solar customers, including low-to-moderate income participants, through widespread outreach and education and help customers choose solar companies that offer competitive, transparent pricing.
Campaigns are managed by partnerships that include community officials, elected officials, municipalities and businesses. Communities engaged in Solarize campaigns are able to simplify the procurement and installation of solar panels and obtain discounts through aggregated purchases.
The campaigns generally run between six and nine months, including planning and outreach. By educating the local community, streamlining marketing efforts and aggregating customers, Solarize campaigns help make solar a more accessible and affordable energy option for homeowners and businesses.
The second round of Community Campaigns includes 43 projects at 332 kW by Solar Chautauqua in the Western New York region.
The Solarize program is now entering a third round of campaigns around the State that will further build on the success of the initiative in helping additional neighborhoods to go solar.
The Solarize campaigns are one facet of a broad range of efforts under Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion NY-Sun program-part of his Reforming the Energy Vision strategy-to advance the scale-up of solar and move New York State closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. State-supported solar power in New York increased nearly 800 percent, from December 2011 to December 2016.