Governor Cuomo announces $3.6 million available to help low-to-moderate-income residents access clean, affordable solar energy


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $3.6 million in funding is available to increase access to solar energy in low- to moderate-income communities across the state. The funding will help affordable housing providers and community organizations overcome barriers they often face in advancing solar and clean energy projects. Solar energy helps New York meet its nation-leading Clean Energy Standard for 50 percent of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030. Expanding this renewable energy source will also help New York reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030.

“Clean energy is key to combatting climate change and we must ensure that the development and use of these cutting edge technologies are not only available to the wealthy,” Governor Cuomo said. “Through this effort, we are helping New Yorkers to save money and are building a cleaner and more resilient New York for all.”

Multiple barriers unique to serving low to moderate income communities can delay the progress of solar projects, including financing, procurement, marketing and customer outreach, and other components necessary for successful project development. Community organizations and affordable housing providers are critical partners in developing solutions to these barriers and achieving access to solar for LMI households. However, these entities often lack the financial resources, solar market experience or staff capacity to bring a solar project from concept to operation. This funding opportunity aims to fill this gap by providing these on-the-ground allies with the resources they need to get solar projects off the ground and delivering clean power where it matters most.

Richard Kauffman, New York State Chairman of Energy and Finance, said, “Under Governor Cuomo, New York is ensuring all communities have access to renewable energy under his Reforming the Energy Vision strategy. From enabling community solar to providing support like this for pre-development work in underserved areas, our policies and programs are using new and innovative solutions for solar project development across our state so everyone can benefit from lower energy bills and be part of New York’s clean energy future.”

The funding is made available through the Governor’s NY-Sun Initiative and is being administered in addition to the State’s $234 million commitment under the Clean Energy Fund for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for LMI households. A total of 40 percent of New York State households have incomes considered low to moderate, which means they earn less than 80 percent of the median income in their area.

The $3.6 million is offered on a competitive basis through the NY-Sun Affordable Solar Predevelopment and Technical Assistance initiative. It will focus on solar projects that offer meaningful benefits to LMI customers and affordable housing providers, and demonstrate economically viable project models. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is administering the initiative.

John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, “As New York State builds a clean, resilient, affordable energy system under Governor Cuomo, every resident must have an opportunity to participate. Through partnerships in the community, this initiative will enable access to solar in locations with unique requirements and technical issues.”

James S. Rubin, New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner said, “New York State is a leader in advancing innovative, environmentally-friendly energy solutions, thanks to Governor Cuomo. By expanding access to and the use of lower cost, renewable energy technologies, like solar power, to our state’s affordable multifamily and rental housing, we can ensure that New Yorkers in all neighborhoods and communities can benefit from lower energy costs and a healthier, cleaner environment.”

Applications will be accepted through August 31, 2018 or until funds are exhausted. Individual project awards will not exceed $200,000. For more information on this funding opportunity, visit

A webinar will be held on December 15 from 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. To register for the webinar, click here.