New York State is hitting its community solar stride

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With community solar programs growing more and more popular by the day, it’s no wonder the nation’s third-most populous state is seeing rapid development. This week, Nexamp announced the completion of New York’s newest community solar venture, a 7.5 MW project in Newfield. Not soon after came the news that officials in the town of Vernon are hearing proposals for their own community solar project.

Nexamp’s project in Newfield, dubbed The Millard Hill Community Solar project, was constructed as part of the town’s commitment to New York’s new target of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, as enacted by Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) in 2014. Nexamp, along with the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce is celebrating the completion of The Millard Hill project with a ribbon cutting ceremony on October 29.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate the completion of our first community solar array in New York, which will deliver meaningful savings to ratepayers,”Nexamp CEO Zaid Ashai said in a release touting the project’s completion. “We’re on a mission to put the benefits of solar power within reach of far more individuals across the state, and this project is the first of many Nexamp will invest in in the coming months.”

The project has already recorded over 800 enrollments of New York State Electric & Gas customers in Tompkins County. Nexamp reports that these early participants will save up to 10% on their portion of the project so long as they remain enrolled in Nexamp’s Solarize My Bill program.

 

Renewable Reincarnation

In New York, it seems that as soon as one community solar project launches, the next proposal pops right up. And that’s exactly what’s happening in Vernon, as the Oneida Daily Dispatch reports that representatives from RER Energy Group and Associated Energy Developers met with Vernon town officials to propose a project of their own.

The proposal outlines a 5 MW solar project on 58-acres of privately-owned land across the street from the Vernon courthouse. The project would be accompanied by a $10 million price tag, with plans to sell the electricity generated to National Grid. RER Energy Group is reportedly seeking a project with an anticipated enrollment of roughly 1,000 people.

While not entirely due to community solar, in the last decade, New York has seen a solar explosion. The state saw its total installed capacity grow more than 1,000% in size from December 2011 to December 2017. That growth figure also includes the 728 megawatts of community solar projects developed in the Empire State. As it stands, SEIA has New York ranked as the 11th in all states for total installed capacity, up from 12th in 2017, at just over 1,460 MW. SEIA also projects New York to have the nation’s 5th highest projected growth over the next five years, with 3,265 MW expected.

If only the Yankees looked as promising. Go Sox.