New York projects 100%+ solar market growth over 2017

The state of New York has joined the big leagues when it comes to solar power. And the language of the state officials shows that their thoughts are consistently focused on the financial challenges of moving solar power from paperwork to commissioning.

Speaking this morning at Intersolar USA East in New York City, NY-Sun Program Director David Sandbank – aka Mr. Sunbank – showed some of the accomplishment of the state since 2012.

Among the list:

  • 1000% growth in total solar capacity installed – moving from 83 MW to over 1,000 MW at the end of 2017.
  • Lowering the cost of solar power 70% in the state.
  • Solving the interconnection queue challenge holding up 4 GW of projects.
  • Growing from 6-7th in the nation for solar jobs to 3rd, with greater than 12,000 workers.
  • More than 80,000 individual projects installed.

Specifically, Sandbank suggested that the state might more than double its 2017 market volume of approximately 230 MW to more than 500 MW in 2018. The commercial and industrial (C&I) pipeline presented shows 693 MW of community solar, 181 MW of remote net metering and 21 MW of onsite solar projects.

Sandbank says one of the drivers of the potential increase in capacity has much to do with creating solutions to the state’s interconnection queue, which held more than 4 GW of solar power projects – much of it community solar. Another driver was increasing the capacity of projects eligible for state incentives from 2 MW-AC to 5 MW-AC.

Sandbank says the queue is gone and that developers are no longer sitting on projects, but falling out or moving forward.

Also announced was an increase in the small commercial system size cap from 200 kW to 750 kW, along with an adjustment of the payback period of the Performance Based Incentive (PBI) from four years to two years. The goal of the shifting the PBI incentive forward was to better the time value of money aspect of solar projects.

Talking about these C&I solar benefits Sunbank proclaimed:

Let’s bring back the big box solar rooftop.

Yes David, let’s bring it back.