In a significant advancement for renewable energy, New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced the installation of over two gigawatts of community solar power in the state.
This landmark achievement not only cements New York’s status as the leading community solar market in the United States but also plays a crucial role in the state’s ambitious climate goals.
The two gigawatts of community solar are a part of New York’s broader initiative that has seen five gigawatts of distributed solar already operational and another 3.3 gigawatts in the pipeline. This progress is in line with the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which aims to install six gigawatts of distributed solar by 2025, eventually reaching a target of 10 gigawatts by 2030.
Governor Hochul emphasized the state’s dedication to a sustainable future, highlighting the multiple benefits of this initiative, including environmental conservation, economic growth, and reduced electricity costs for New Yorkers.
Community solar projects are particularly significant as they offer solar energy solutions to those unable to install solar panels directly, such as renters and business owners. These projects contribute clean energy to the electric grid, and subscribers receive credits on their electric bills proportional to their share in the solar system’s output.
This year, community solar installations have constituted 61 percent of all solar installations in New York. The state’s current solar project pipeline is robust, with over 8,700 projects that, once completed, will supply clean energy to more than 600,000 homes.
NYSERDA has played a pivotal role in this success, as evidenced by the state’s leading position in the Wood Mackenzie Solar Market Insight quarterly report. New York is ranked first in the nation for installed community solar and is also a significant player in the overall distributed and residential solar markets.
Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO of NYSERDA, highlighted the state’s unwavering commitment to achieving its Climate Act goals, with community solar being a vital component in this endeavor.
The success of New York’s community solar initiative is underpinned by the NY-Sun program, a $3.3 billion state solar initiative. The combined output of installed and in-development solar projects is bringing the state closer to its 2030 goal.
Various industry leaders and environmental advocates have lauded New York’s achievements in solar energy. They stress the importance of further investment and expansion in community solar to ensure wider access and to continue New York’s leadership in renewable energy.
The state’s climate plan is comprehensive, aiming for an orderly and just transition to a green economy, with a focus on directing a significant portion of clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities. New York’s strategy includes substantial investments across various sectors, aiming for a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040 and carbon neutrality by mid-century. This plan is a cornerstone in the state’s efforts to combat climate change and improve air quality, reinforcing its position as a national leader in solar energy production.