New York solar grows more than 10-fold in six years

While New Jersey has long been considered a top state for installed solar capacity, New York has worked overtime for the past six years to build its own solar infrastructure – and its hard work seems to be paying off.

Yesterday Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that since December 2011, installed capacity in the state has increased more than 10-fold, or 1,000%. He also noted that New York has seen nearly $2.8 billion in private investment, which has created 12,000 solar jobs in the state.

Such progress is a milestone towards Cuomo’s goal to have half of the state’s electricity generated from renewable energy by 2030.

“Solar is a vital part of this state’s clean energy future and we have experienced unprecedented growth in this new sector,” Cuomo said. “We will continue to support the development of solar, helping to spur economic growth, creating new jobs and helping to build a cleaner, greener and more sustainable New York for all.”

Cuomo credits much of the growth to three specific entities:

  • the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (through the $1 billion NY-Sun program);
  • the New York Power Authority; and
  • Long Island Power Authority.

Between them, those three entities have installed 972.2 MW through December from a mere 83 Mw that were installed by the end of 2011.

But Cuomo reports there are no signs of the New York solar boom slowing any time soon. There are currently more than 1.1 GW of projects in development, though it is unclear how many of those projects will actually be completed.
In the project pipeline, 728 MW of community solar projects are planned, and the governor reports the state receives on average 900 applications monthly for residential systems.
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.