Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the State Public Service Commission approved a new framework for New York State to achieve at least 10GW of distributed solar by 2030, enough to annually power nearly 700,000 average-sized homes.
The roadmap, submitted by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the New York State Department of Public Service to the PSC, provides a strategy to expand the state’s already successful NY-Sun initiative into one of the largest and most inclusive solar programs of its kind in the nation.
“This roadmap to expand the NY-Sun initiative into a nation-leading blueprint for the development of distributed solar meets the moment to supercharge our economy and advance our climate goals,” said Governor Hochul.
The framework includes an investment of $1.5 billion in ratepayer-funded incentives to extend the NY-Sun program and continue the reduction in project cost and incentives observed in the last ten years. The public investment is expected to trigger approximately $4.4 billion in private investment to bring awarded projects to fruition, for a total of $5.9 billion in expected investment over the mid- to late-2020s. As many as 6,000 additional solar jobs will be created across the state, including new wage requirements for solar projects between 1- to 5MW.
The program expansion will also deliver at least 35% of the benefits, with a goal of 40%, from the investments to disadvantaged communities and low- to moderate-income New Yorkers.
Expanding the state’s solar goal is expected to have an average bill impact for New York customers of less than 1%, or approximately $0.71 per month for the average residence.
“This comprehensive expansion means more families and businesses, especially those in communities that have been historically underserved, will have access to clean, affordable solar electricity, while ensuring the workers who build these projects get fair wages. Reaching 10 gigawatts will leverage $9 billion in private investment and create thousands of family-sustaining solar jobs, demonstrating the tremendous benefits the state’s clean energy transition is bringing to New Yorkers under Governor Hochul’s leadership,” said Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
The new framework builds on New York’s investments in clean energy. The state is currently ranked 11th in the country for solar installations with nearly 607,000 homes powered by the sun. The state gets 3.14% of its electricity from solar, and prior to passage of this plan, was projected to add another 4,877MW of solar over the next five years. The state has made investments of over $33 billion in 102 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting nearly 158,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2020, a 2,100% growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000MW of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85% from 1990 levels by 2050, and advance progress toward the state’s 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.
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