New York Is 95% Of The Way To Its 6 Gigawatts By 2025 Solar Power Goal

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Generate Capital Community Solar Project, 17B, in New York, courtesy of NY Governor Cuomo.

New York’s solar growth has climbed 2,100% since the NY-Sun initiative was launched in 2011. The cost of solar dropped 69% in that same period. Naturally, there are large global trends driving these results, but they are great for New York nonetheless. They’re also helping New York Governor Cuomo to easily approach his goal of six gigawatts (GW) of solar power by 2025 — a mandate from the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. New York is 95% there when you look at projects that have already been installed and connected to the grid as well as projects that are currently under development. Four years to add the other 5% doesn’t seem too hard.

One of the great economic benefits is that this solar power growth has created 12,000 jobs across the state.

“Solar energy is a key component in New York’s transition to a clean energy economy as we work to reduce harmful emissions across the board and address the dual challenges of fighting climate change and rebuilding stronger post-pandemic,” Governor Cuomo said. “The success of NY-Sun demonstrates we are on track to meeting our nation-leading energy goals while stimulating green job growth and economic recovery in communities across the state as part of our comprehensive plan to reimagine New York following the pandemic.”

Easy comments for the governor to make. Clearly, he has the whole global solar market and also policies around the world to thank for enabling the solar cost drops and more mature solar ecosystem. Though, New York also does deserve some love for its efforts and policies. Six gigawatts (or even 3 GW) of solar power are more than most countries have installed.

July 13, 2021 — Bethel, NY — Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul cuts the ribbon at the Generate Capital Community Solar Project, along with NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen Harris. (Philip Kamrass/New York Power Authority, courtesy of NY Governor Cuomo)
Generate Capital Community Solar Project, 17B, in New York, courtesy of NY Governor Cuomo.
Generate Capital Community Solar Project, 17B, in New York, courtesy of NY Governor Cuomo.
Generate Capital Community Solar Project, 17B, in New York, courtesy of NY Governor Cuomo.
Generate Capital Community Solar Project, 17B, in New York, courtesy of NY Governor Cuomo.

Here’s a bullet list from the state government highlighting some of what has been achieved since the NY-Sun initiative was launched in 2011:

  • Installed solar on the rooftop or property of 145,000 homes spanning every county in New York;
  • Provided over $1 billion in incentives, leveraging $5.3 billion in private investment;
  • Drove over 2,100 percent solar growth in the state;
  • Delivered enough clean, renewable energy to power over 522,000 New York homes;
  • Fostered 12,000 jobs in the solar industry;
  • Helped to drive down the cost of solar 69 percent in 10 years; and
  • Committed $30 million for projects benefiting environmental justice and disadvantaged communities.

“As someone who grew up near Lake Erie and saw first-hand the harmful effects caused by emissions from the local steel plant, creating a cleaner, greener future has always been a personal fight for me,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul added. “By reaching the historic milestone of three gigawatts of solar installed in New York, we can now power more than a half million homes with clean energy, while also creating good jobs and attracting further investment in our State’s green energy economy.”

Generate Capital Community Solar Project, 17B, in New York, courtesy of NY Governor Cuomo.

These announcements were made last week alongside a community solar power project ribbon cutting in the Mid-Hudson region — for the region’s largest community solar project to date. “17B,” as the project is known, is collecting sunlight and turning it into electricity in the town of Bethel, which some old-timers may know is “on the road leading to the site of the original 1969 Woodstock Music Festival.” Generate Capital owns the 6.8 MW community solar project, while it was developed by Delaware River Solar. The project is expected to produce 7.8 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year. Subscriptions from 129 residences, small businesses, and nonprofits officially get the solar energy. (Though, technically, the power goes into the grid and the subscribers get electricity from the grid, like everyone else.) NYSERDA contributed more than $1 million for the project via the aforementioned NY-Sun initiative.

New York was the #1 state in the USA for community solar power installations in 2020, when it had 549 MW of community solar installed — most of which got support from NY-Sun incentives. Overall, New York is #2 for total installations.

Whether a large-scale solar farm or a somewhat smaller community solar project, and whether looking to install, manage, invest in, or buy a solar project, there is now an enormous amount of data out there to help pick the perfect location, optimize the development project, maximize maintenance procedures for greater efficiency, and simply monitor and analyze the project to see if it’s living up to expectations. Join us in a week for a detailed look at these factors and more, when we will be hosting an “Accelerating Quality Development and Origination” webinar.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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