Governor Cuomo announces $ 52.5 million available for community solar projects that support underserved New Yorkers


Expected to provide energy bill savings to up to 50,000 households, affordable housing providers and facilities serving disadvantaged communities

July 20, 2021

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of the Inclusive Community Solar Adder program, which makes $ 52.5 million available to community solar projects that support underserved New Yorkers and disadvantaged communities. Projects funded under the program are expected to serve up to 50,000 low to moderate income households, affordable housing providers and facilities serving disadvantaged communities, who will benefit from energy bill savings through clean energy. and renewable energy generated by community solar energy. Increasing access to solar power for low-income residents supports Governor Cuomo’s goal of ensuring at least 35% with a target of 40% of profits from clean energy investments go to disadvantaged communities, as outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

“This administration is committed to expanding access to solar power to all New Yorkers as we work to ensure a just and just transition to a green economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “This program will provide the support needed to move solar projects forward in communities that are historically underserved and that can make the most of health and environmental benefits and cost savings.”

“Low-income communities face the greatest threats from climate change, and New York State is committed to investing in projects and resources that ensure a cleaner, greener future for all generations,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “The Inclusive Community Solar Adder program will increase access to community solar power, enabling people living and organizations based in these communities disproportionately affected by climate change to save on energy bills.”

The Inclusive Community Solar Adder program, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, provides an additional incentive for NY-Sun community solar projects that dedicate at least 20% of their project to eligible low- to moderate-income and disadvantaged households. communities. The addition of the program will increase access to community solar power, help customers save at least 10% on their electricity bills, and lower operating costs for affordable housing and nonprofit organizations serving disadvantaged communities. Incentives will be awarded for projects located in environmental justice communities burdened by conventional power generation facilities.

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “As we build a more resilient grid, it is critically important that we remove barriers and increase access to clean, renewable energy resources for all New Yorkers. NYSERDA’s Inclusive Community Solar Adder program is unique in that it takes a two-pronged approach to increasing access to solar energy and saving money by serving both families and affordable housing providers. that support residents of disadvantaged communities. ”

The program design was informed by a request for information released by NYSERDA in December 2020 and by stakeholders who participated in a webinar in March 2021 hosted by NYSERDA. Another webinar on the program will take place on July 28, 2021 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Please click here to Register now. For more information about the program, visit the NYSERDA website.

Community solar projects increase access to solar energy for homeowners and tenants who may not have ideal conditions to install solar panels directly on site. With community solar arrangements, energy is always supplied by a customer’s regular electricity supplier, and the electricity produced from the community solar panel is fed directly back into the grid. As the grid is supplied with clean, renewable energy, subscribers receive a credit on their electricity bills for their share of the community solar system. In 2020, New York was named the nation’s first community solar market.

New York Solar Energy Industries Association Executive Director Shyam Mehta said, “The Inclusive Community Solar Adder program will be a critical mechanism to extend the many benefits of Community Solar to low and moderate income communities and environmental justice and address critical equity, access and inclusion considerations related to the achievement of the New York CLCPA targets and our transition to a fully carbon-free electricity sector. NYSEIA and its members appreciate the hard work, robust stakeholder process, and thoughtful design of the ICSA program, and are excited to participate in this program as it rolls out statewide.

Solar Energy Industries Association’s senior state policy director, East, said David Gahl, “The Inclusive Community Solar Adder program will deliver tangible benefits to low-income customers statewide, encourage long-term community solar power development, and bring the benefits of solar power to tens of thousands of people. New Yorkers, SEIA and our members look forward to working with NYSERDA and state leaders to help make this effort a success. ”

Coalition for Community Solar Access Northeast Regional Director Kaitlin Kelly O’Neill said, “The launch of the Inclusive Community Solar Adder program is a big step toward expanding the cost savings and clean energy benefits of the New York City Community Solar Program to low and moderate income residents. see NYSERDA’s hard work and commitment resulting in a dedicated resource that further expands the accessibility of community solar projects for all energy consumers in the state. ”

Since 2011, Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative, which offers incentives to support the growth of the solar industry, has committed $ 30 million for projects directly benefiting environmental justice and disadvantaged communities. In addition to the more than three gigawatts of distributed solar power installed statewide, an additional 2.7 gigawatts of solar power received NY-Sun incentives. These projects are currently under development, most of which will be commissioned over the next two years, with sufficient capacity to power an additional 477,000 homes. Together, these projects will bring New York State to 95% of the six gigawatt climate law target. Currently, more than 90 percent of the pipeline is community solar, including more than 800 community solar projects under development that will expand access to more New Yorkers, including low to moderate income households.

In addition to the new Inclusive Community Solar Adder program, NY-Sun is providing increased access to community solar projects for underprivileged communities through its Solar For All initiative. The free program currently has nearly 4,000 subscribers and is open to residents of New York State with household income less than 60% of the state’s median income. Additionally, NY-Sun’s Affordable Solar Power Program offers additional incentives to help low to moderate income customers install their own solar project. Over 750 individual projects have been supported by the Affordable Solar Program to date.

New York State’s National Climate Plan

Governor Cuomo’s climate agenda is the most aggressive clean energy and climate initiative in the country, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues to foster a green economy as the state of New York is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Written into law by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on track to meet its goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, of which 70% is produced from renewable energy. ‘by 2030, and achieve economy-wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York’s unprecedented investments to develop clean energy, including more than $ 21 billion in 91 large-scale renewable projects statewide, $ 6.8 billion to reduce emissions from buildings, $ 1.8 billion to develop solar power, over $ 1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $ 1.2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Together, these investments support more than 150,000 clean energy jobs in New York City in 2019, 2,100% growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011, and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind power. by 2035. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a target of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments to be directed to disadvantaged communities, and will progress towards the state’s energy efficiency target by 2025 of reducing on-site energy consumption of 185 trillion BTUs in end-use energy savings.

About NY-Sun

NY-Sun is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s $ 1.8 billion initiative to advance solar energy development and bring the state closer to a sustainable and self-sufficient solar industry. Since 2011, solar power in New York State has grown by more than 2,100%, generated $ 5.3 billion in private investment and reduced the cost of solar power by 69%. There are approximately 12,000 people engaged in solar jobs across New York City.

Last update: 07/20/2021


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