As part of his Reforming the Energy Vision Strategy, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (D) announced that $3.6 million in funding from the NY-Sun Initiative will be invested to increase solar access to low- to moderate-income communities throughout New York. It’s a move that shows Cuomo wants to provide 40 percent of households that have incomes lower than 80 percent of the median in their area with clean and affordable solar power.
“Clean energy is key to combatting climate change and we must ensure that the development and use of these cutting edge technologies are not only available to the wealthy,” Cuomo said. “Through this effort, we are helping New Yorkers to save money and are building a cleaner and more resilient New York for all.”
The funding from NY-Sun will provide community organizations and affordable housing providers with resources to help get solar projects underway that benefit low- to middle-income households. The resources will include financial resources, help with solar market experience or staffing capacity to bring a solar project from concept to operation.
The NY-Sun Initiative has proven a success across New York. The initiative is making progress toward meeting the state’s Clean Energy Standard goal for 50 percent of all power to come from renewable resources by 2030. For instance, the state’s first community solar project came online this October in the economically shuttered Fingerlakes region. The 359-kilowatt solar array, consisting of more than 1,100 panels, will serve the more than 3 dozen residents of Tompkins, Steuben and Schuyler counties that bought panels in the array.
The Fingerlakes solar project is just one example of the emergence of community solar programs in New York. Both those and the need for traditional utility companies to modernize infrastructure has provided much-needed jobs in regions of New York ravaged by high unemployment rates.
“Under Governor Cuomo, New York is ensuring all communities have access to renewable energy under his Reforming the Energy Vision strategy. From enabling community solar to providing support like this for pre-development work in underserved areas, our policies and programs are using new and innovative solutions for solar project development across our state so everyone can benefit from lower energy bills and be part of New York's clean energy future,” said Richard Kauffman, New York State chairman of Energy and Finance.
As the cost of solar in the state declines because of increased demand and programs like NY-Sun, the availability of solar energy options increases for low to moderate-income customers. A report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that more than a third of all energy generated in New York could be produced through rooftop solar installations.Tweet