First $30 Million of NY State RPS Program Awarded to Boost Solar Energy in New York City, Lower Hudson Valley

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Graphic courtesy NYC Solar Map

Greater efforts to promote and foster development of New York State’s renewable energy resources and potential were a highlight of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent 2012 State of the State address. 2012 could wind up being a ‘bumper year’ for solar and renewable energy in New York if the governor and his team are successful, just as the seeds of initiatives enacted in recent years are beginning to germinate as well.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the state Public Service Commission (PSC), on Jan. 10, announced that it was awarding $30 million to help fund large-scale solar power projects that will assist facilities in New York City and the lower Hudson Valley to generate clean, renewable electricity for their own use.

First of 5 Years of Planned Solar Energy Funding

The $30 million in funding is the first of five years’ of planned investments totaling $150 million that were authorized under the Customer-Sited Tier Regional Program of New York State’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which calls for 29% of the energy produced by state investor-owned utilties (IOUs) to be produced from renewable resources come 2015. The NYSERDA incentive scheme will provide as much as 50% of a project’s costs, up to a ceiling of $3 million.

2012’s funding is being distributed among a group of 15 companies made up of solar installers, solar project developers, and real estate owners. The companies were selected through a competitive process and include: Alteris Renewables, altPOWER, Bright Power, ConEdison Solutions, Earthkind Energy, Martifer Solar USA, OnForce Solar, Ross Solar Group, SolarCity, Solar Energy Systems LLC, Solartech Renewables, SunEdison, SUNation Solar, SunRay Power, and MS Harrison LLC.

The awardees will work with project partners that may include a wide range of businesses that consume a lot of electricity, such as department stores, discount stores, apartment complexes, Postal Service distribution centers, and other sites in New York City and the Hudson Valley.

“The enthusiastic response to our solicitation confirms the important contribution that solar technology can play in addressing the energy, environmental, and reliability needs of the metropolitan New York City area,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., NYSERDA president and CEO. “The success of this program is another example of New York’s leadership in supporting investment in a wide range of renewable energy technologies.”

The Customer-Sited Tiered Regional Program is aimed directly at promoting more use of solar and renewable energy in New York City and lower Hudson River valley, areas that have long been heavy users of fossil fuels. NYSERDA will award as much as $30 million each year — $25 million for projects in the city or in neighboring Westchester County, and $5 million for projects in the lower Hudson Valley — to foster clean energy production and technology adoption.

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