New York sets framework for 10 GW + distributed solar power by 2030

Leaders in New York have set a framework to achieve at least 10 GW of distributed solar power by 2030, enough to power nearly 700,000 homes each year. It would be one of the largest solar programs in the country. The roadmap has been submitted by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York State Department of Public Service (DPS) to the Public Service Commission for public comment and approval.

How do they plan to deploy 10 GW or more of distributed solar power – projects under 5 MW – by 2030? NYSERDA has determined that expanding the state’s NY-Sun initiative is the way to go. The proposal includes about $ 4.4 billion in private investment and plans to create an additional 6,000 solar jobs statewide. The expansion of the program will also provide at least 35 percent of the profits with a 40 percent investment target to disadvantaged communities defined by law and low to moderate income New Yorkers.

• At least 1.6 GW of new solar capacity must benefit disadvantaged communities and low to moderate income New Yorkers, with an estimated investment of $ 600 million to serve these communities;
• At least 450 MW will be built in the Con Edison electrical service area (covering New York City and parts of Westchester), increasing the installed solar capacity in this area to over 1 GW, enough to power nearly 175 000 households by the end of the decade;
• At least 560 MW will be advanced through the Long Island Power Authority; and
• A new requirement that workers associated with the construction of NY-Sun supported projects that are greater than 1 MW receive the applicable then current salary. Projects that submitted their initial utility interconnection request prior to the filing of this roadmap are proposed to be exempt from the new wage requirement in effect.

The expansion of the state’s solar target is expected to have an average impact on New York customer bills of less than one percent, or about $ 0.71 per month for the average residence. The roadmap is available for public comment on the Ministry of Civil Service website and subsequent decision making in 2022.

NYSERDA will extend its ongoing technical assistance to all municipalities across the state to help communities align solar development with local priorities. In addition, projects located in New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets designated farming districts must follow the Agricultural Mitigation Guidelines for Solar Power Projects and will go through a process of additional review with NYSDAM, as well as with local agricultural councils. Projects that exceed 30 acres of impact on prime agricultural soils will be subject to a mitigation fee.

In 2020, New York City was ranked first in the country for new community solar installations and second for total solar installations distributed. Since 2011, NY-Sun, New York State’s $ 1.8 billion initiative to advance solar energy development and bring the state closer to a sustainable solar industry, has:

• Creation of 12,000 jobs in the solar industry;
• Supported 114,000 completed projects with nearly 6,000 in active development in the NY-Sun pipeline – together enough to power over 2.2 million homes;
• Installation of solar energy on the roof or on the property of 145,000 homes in all New York counties;
• Provided over $ 1 billion in incentives, leveraging $ 5.6 billion in private investment;
• Drives over 2,100 percent solar growth in the state;
• provided enough clean, renewable energy to power more than 522,000 New York homes;
• Allocation of $ 135 million to projects benefiting low to moderate income households and disadvantaged communities.

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