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Con Ed Plans New York Solar Project

Solar Panels like these could be a more common sight if a pilot program in New York City takes off.

New York City utility Consolidated Edison wants to install a 12 megawatt pilot solar project in the Big Apple.

Con Ed filed its plans with the New York State Public Service Commission late last week. the 18-month project would generate energy for homes, businesses and Con Ed buildings. The utility said 1 MW powers about 1,000 homes. That’s a tiny fraction of the 3 million customers Con Ed serves.

The project would cost as much as $25 million, the utility said.

Con Ed says it will seek to use stimulus appropriations, federal and New York City tax incentives, and grants from the New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) to help offset the cost.

If approved, Con Ed says the project would break down this way:

  • 5 MW from large installations of 200 kilowatts (kW) or more;
  • 5 MW from smaller installations, primarily for residential or small to medium commercial customers; and
  • 2 MW on Con Edison facilities in daytime peak-electric use neighborhoods.

While this effort is tiny compared to other programs around the country, it’s a start. And it’s more evidence that solar power isn’t useful just in the sun belt or the desert. Con Ed hopes the 18-month long project would help it study usage and load patterns, gauge customer interest in solar, and spur the creation of larger solar projects. In New York, where complaints about taxes and the cost of doing business are common, it will be intriguing to see if consumers and businesses line up for the chance to make a dent in their long-term energy costs.

Photo Credit: Amaresh(zaldoe)‘s flickr stream, via a Creative Common License.


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Written By

Dave has over a decade of experience in journalism covering a wide variety of topics. He spent 7 years on the business beat for the Rochester (N.Y) Democrat and Chronicle, covering technology issues including the state's growing green economy. When he's not writing, you'll find Dave enjoying his family, being a bit of a music snob, and praying that the Notre Dame football team can get its act together. He lives in Rochester.

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