As part of his plan to switch 100% of New York’s power to renewables, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to help drive community solar development. The plan is intended to fast-track the construction of nearly 40 distributed and community solar systems by 2025. Governor Cuomo’s plan officially alters the state’s current clean energy goals, which is in line with the New York Power Authority 2025 goal of 75 megawatts of renewable energy. The plan includes 15-megawatts of battery storage and would generate enough power to offset the carbon emissions of just over 2,500 vehicles.
According to Cuomo’s plan, the community solar developments and distributed solar systems would bring in upwards of $135 million in investments that would help fund construction and operational costs. The plan also intends to generate more than 1,200 jobs in the solar selector. Residents would have access to long and short-term employment involved in the development and construction of the 40 solar systems. The plan aligns with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which pushed for 6,000-megawatts of solar energy by 2025 half that in storage by 2030.
During his 2021 State of the State address, Cuomo stated that the Community Solar and Storage Program would allow homeowners and small businesses to purchase shares of regional community solar developments. As part of their subscription, they would receive a monthly credit to offset the cost of electricity, leaving them with approximately a 10% savings. The Community Solar and Storage Program would also directly increase the presence of clean, renewable energy being filtered into the power grid.
Cuomo opened the new plan up to towns, counties, villages, and cities throughout the state of New York. State agencies will also take part in the initiative as hosts for future community solar developments. Parties interested in taking part in the Community Solar and Storage Program are directed to contact the New York Power Authority.