Last week New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) office announced $28.6 million in NY-Sun Initiative investments as well as $1.4 million in energy storage investments as New York continues to prepare for its energy future. Already the initiative has helped support the edition of 299 megawatts of solar photovoltaics and has helped drop the cost of solar projects from $1.30 per watt in 2011 to 77 cents per watt today. Part of the focus of the new round of funds is to support more small-scale solar in New York.
The solar investments will support reductions in the soft costs of solar—solar installation costs related to permitting and implementing solar arrays not directly related to the cost of PV system materials—as well as 33.6 megawatts of large-scale projects. It also announced grants to support six companies working on energy storage solutions. Such solutions will become an integral part of managing energy on the grid in coming years.
“With these awards, we aren’t just investing in clean, renewable energy: we are investing in New York’s future,” Cuomo said. “New York state is continuing to expand its clean-energy economy by partnering with the private sector to support innovative solar projects. The NY-Sun initiative has played an essential role in our efforts to grow the solar industry in New York and create cleaner communities across the state.”
The bulk of the $28.6 million in NY-Sun Initiative funding will help support 29 projects larger than 200 kilowatts, according to the office. The projects were awarded under the NY-Sun Competitive PV solicitation administered by NYSERDA. “These projects will leverage $58.6 million in private investment, resulting in roughly $84.4 million in infrastructure projects,” the office said
The awards also support eight solar cost-reduction projects totaling $2.8 million in awards, the office said. They are funded by NYSERDA and the New York Power Authority. Among those projects NY-Sun is supporting NYSolar Smart SunShares, Grid Ready Solar, Community PV Purchasing Program and a Solar Marketplace.
NYSolar Smart SunShares is a solar customer aggregation or bulk purchasing program available to organizations and agencies in targeted areas throughout the state. The program will use bulk purchasing to lower the cost of residential solar for employees of participating organizations. It aims to install roughly 600 kilowatts across 120 solar power projects.
Grid Ready Solar will help solar developers and others a screening tool to evaluate technical and financial barriers to installing PV on more than 2,400 buildings in New York City with potential for PV systems larger than 200 kilowatts as estimated by the NYC Solar Map. The new resources will include a interconnection issue layer for NYC’s Solar Map that focusses on the identified buildings. It will also have a guide for cost mitigation strategies and an overview of potential short- and long-term solutions.
The Solar Marketplace helps homeowners, businesses and non-profits research and comparison-shop for PV systems. The $393,672 will help EnergySage tailor the Solar Marketplace to New York market and promote it to potential solar customers.
The Community PV Purchasing Program is a joint project with Solar One and Sustainable CUNY. The project will implement a group purchasing program in New York City using best practices identified in Solar One's pilot project.
In energy storage each of the companies was awarded A $250,000 grant except for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Which received a 120,000 grant. The other recipients include Custom Electronics, Cornell University, Widetronix, Columbia University and Ambri—which is working with Con Edison and the Battery and Energy Storage Testing and Commercialization Center of Rochester. Energy storage devices such as large-scale batteries can be placed by electric substations or other distribution areas like feeder lines where demand can be readily managed closest to energy usage.Tweet