It’s no coincidence that solar panels are increasingly popping up on New York farms and residences. Use of solar energy to reduce electrical costs has picked up substantially in the Empire State.
One reason is that the first two rounds of the locally organized Solarize campaigns have netted 850 solar projects on homes and businesses. Round three is underway.
According to the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority, the projects have resulted in more than $2.9 million in cost savings to residences and businesses across the state. The campaigns are part of New York’s goal of achieving 50% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
“New York continues to see unprecedented growth in the solar energy industry across the state, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing jobs and driving economic growth,” confirms Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “By helping residents and businesses install solar energy panels, we’re reducing costs for consumers and fueling the clean energy economy in New York for years to come."
During the first two rounds in 2015 and 2016, NYSERDA provided $700,000 in technical and marketing support. A total of 13.46 megawatts of installed solar saved participants approximately $2.9 million on upfront purchase costs, for an average savings of $1,743 per installation.
Second round results
Here’s a quick summary of round two results by region:
• Capital Region: 53 projects with 391 kW capacity
• Central New York: seven projects with 60 kW capacity
• Finger Lakes: 53 projects with 486 kW capacity
• Long Island: 27 projects with 161 kW capacity
• Mid-Hudson Valley: 395 projects with 3,146 kW capacity
• New York City: 202 projects with 996 kW capacity
• North Country: 40 projects with 336 kW capacity
• Southern Tier: 30 projects with 273 kW capacity
• Western New York: 43 projects with 332 kW capacity
How Solarizing works
Solarizing projects are under the state’s NY-Sun program, which also has incentive programs supporting solar projects for commercial and industrial companies, homes, multifamily buildings and small commercial, not-for-profit and municipal buildings. Solarizing projects are a part of that program.
“Solarize campaigns create opportunities for community members to work together to reduce energy costs and protect the environment,” says NYSERDA President and CEO Alicia Barton. The goal is to make energy more affordable.
In brief, NYSERDA and the Center for Economic Growth bring together potential solar customers in each region to receive competitive pricing through joint purchasing arrangements. The program helps each project group choose solar companies offering competitive, transparent pricing. It also simplifies discounts, procurement and installation of panels.