Solar energy in New York State has been experiencing triple digit growth over the last few years, and thanks to NY Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy, this solar growth shows no sign of slowing down.
An announcement about the growth of solar in New York State was released today by the Governor’s office, and the message it contains is not only worthy of generating praise from the clean energy community for the state’s growing solar capacity, but it also speaks to the bigger picture of solar, as it presents a compelling argument for the effectiveness of strong state renewable energy policies and programs.
According to the announcement, New York State experienced a 300% increase in solar from 2011 to 2014, which is twice the rate of overall solar adoption in the entire U.S.
“The Empire State is rapidly becoming a leader in clean energy technology, and that means greener and more sustainable communities for all New Yorkers.” – Governor Cuomo
One of the prime movers behind this strong New York solar growth is Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) program, a comprehensive energy strategy that aims to build “a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers,” in which solar will play a big part. Part of this program includes a planned $1 billion bet in solar, dubbed the NY-Sun Initiative, which seeks to add some 3,000 MW of solar to New York State’s energy mix by 2023.
“Through the $1 billion NY-Sun Initiative, we’re making solar a reality in virtually every corner of the state and building a brighter future today. I am proud to see New York pulling well ahead of the national average for the growing solar industry, and look forward to seeing that momentum continue in the years to come.” – Governor Cuomo
As of December 2014, a total of 314.48 MW of solar electric was installed statewide, which is capable of generating enough electricity to power more than 51,000 homes, ranking New York State at 7th in the U.S. for installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity last year (up from 9th the year before). So far this year (as of May), more than 304 MW of solar electric projects were under contract (though not yet installed), and an additional 65 MW of applications for solar PV have been accepted (though not contracted).
Some of the solar growth in New York can be attributed to common factors, such as the dropping cost of solar components and the growth in solar installers that market direct to consumers, and when combined with the NY-Sun initiative, these factors are adding up to quite the solar progress in the Empire State.
“Solar is no longer a novelty, it’s just the way we do things.” – Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy & Finance for New York
In every region in New York except Long Island (which already leads in solar installations), solar PV capacity has at least doubled, with some regions experiencing triple, quadruple, or quintuple solar capacity growth, and all regions have seen the number of solar projects at least doubled.
“This exceptional solar growth demonstrates that New York State is doing what needs to be done to scale-up this renewable resource and move toward a sustainable solar industry. NYSERDA will continue to build on this momentum and work toward Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to create a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers.” – John B. Rhodes, President and CEO of NYSERDA
Additional solar growth in New York State could come from another element in the REV program, a proposed $5 billion Clean Energy Fund, which would put investments into play over the next ten years across four portfolios: Market Development, Innovation and Research, NY Green Bank and NY-Sun.
“A 21st century economy needs a 21st century power grid, and these reforms will ensure New Yorkers get the best possible service from their utilities while improving the statewide economy.” – Governor Cuomo
Image: Democracy Chronicles
July 6, 2015
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