NEW YORK STATE (December 8, 2014) – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the launch of Community Solar NY, a new effort under the NY-Sun initiative to make implementing solar easier and more affordable for communities across the state. The program launched today supports community projects known as “Solarize” campaigns – locally-organized community outreach efforts aimed at getting a critical mass of area homes and businesses to install solar.
“Transitioning to affordable and clean energy is a large part of our goal of building a better New York State – and today we’re taking another step forward to make that goal a reality,” Governor Cuomo said. “By helping local communities implement solar technologies, we are providing residents throughout the State with greater access to clean energy without the burden of high costs. Community Solar NY is another initiative that will help us deliver on our promise to build a cleaner and greener Empire State, and I encourage all interested communities to join us by taking part in this effort.”
Solarize campaigns bring together widespread community outreach and education, competitive installer selection, and a limited-time offer to bring more customers to solar and provide significant cost savings. Community Solar NY will support these campaigns by providing marketing materials, technical assistance and funding; and by sharing best practices to help community projects succeed.
John B. Rhodes, President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), said, “Community Solar NY is an innovative approach to spur local communities to come together to install and encourage the installation of solar in homes, businesses and neighborhoods. A new component of Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative, it is the latest piece of a comprehensive program to help the State advance toward installing 3,000 megawatts of solar by 2023.”
Communities across New York State already have had success with early Solarize efforts. Community Solar NY seeks to encourage many more communities to follow their lead. Descriptions of existing Solarize projects can be found here.
Community Solar NY also includes K-Solar, a joint partnership between the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and NYSERDA, working with the New York State Education Department to help schools lower their energy costs by going solar. NYPA is offering every New York State school district free energy advisory services and in collaboration with school personnel will determine if solar energy is suitable and cost-effective for their district and to help secure the most attractive solar financing. As of the end of November, 194 school districts, representing more than 800 schools in 51 counties, have signed up to participate in K-Solar.
Applications and additional information on Community Solar NY are available on the NYSERDA web site at www.ny-sun.ny.gov/community-solar.
NY-Sun is a $1 billion initiative of Governor Cuomo’s to advance the scale-up of solar and move the state closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. With this initiative, New York’s role as a leader and first mover in shaping the future of energy remains firmly in place. By developing innovative market solutions, the State is delivering on Governor Cuomo’s commitment to transform the energy industry into a more resilient, clean, cost-effective and dynamic system. Working with State, citizen and industry stakeholders, New York’s energy policy is moving to a more market-based, decentralized approach. This means preserving the environment, decreasing energy costs, and creating opportunities for economic growth for current and future generations of New Yorkers. In advancing these new energy systems and solutions, New Yorkers will have improved energy affordability and efficiency without sacrificing the ability to live in a cleaner, resilient and more sustainable environment.