Governor Cuomo announces $94 Million Awarded for Solar Projects Across the State
142 Solar Projects at Businesses and Schools Will Increase New York’s Solar Capacity by 68 Percent
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced NY-Sun awards for large solar electric projects that will increase the solar capacity in New York State by more than 214 megawatts, a 68 percent increase over the amount of solar installed and in the pipeline at the end of 2013. The competitive awards further advance the scale-up of solar and move the State closer to a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry.
“Today we are making another long-term investment in our clean energy economy – with nearly $100 million in funding that will dramatically increase our capacity to generate and utilize solar energy across the state,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York is quickly becoming a national leader in renewable energy by building a competitive solar industry, and today’s award recipients are an example of how that progress continues to grow. As we recognize Climate Week, this is a significant step forward in our goal of creating a better place for New Yorkers to live and work, and I look forward to seeing these projects contribute to a cleaner environment.”
The new capacity, which is planned for 142 project sites, was obtained through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Competitive PV program, which has been working to stimulate the market for systems larger than 200 kilowatts for four years. A total of $94 million in renewable funding for these projects leverages private investment of $375 million in new PV power infrastructure projects.
A total of 50 project sites are located at businesses; 41 at schools and school districts; 36 at municipal and other government facilities; and 15 at nonprofits, health care institutions and colleges.
“The results of this solicitation highlight the success of Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative in driving a significant increase in solar power in the State, and the large interest from school districts is an indicator of the success we can expect from NY-Sun’s new K-Solar program, which focuses specifically on solar projects at schools,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. “NY-Sun is mobilizing private investment in this clean renewable resource as New York State continues to build clean energy systems that are resilient, reliable and affordable.”
The responses to this solicitation demonstrate that New York State has become an increasingly attractive solar market. A total of 49 developers submitted proposals, a marked increase over the previous two solicitations. The latest bids included large solar developers that have previously focused on other states, regions and countries, and that submitted bids to New York State for the first time.
In addition, proposed average project sizes continued to increase steeply, more than doubling from 750 kilowatts a year ago to more than 1.8 megawatts with the latest solicitation. Aggregate bid prices for awarded projects declined sharply from about a year ago – from $1 per watt to 55 cents per watt in Con Edison territory and from 68 cents per watt to 41 cents per watt in the rest of the state. This will result in 1.6 times more solar energy generated per ratepayer dollar than about a year ago.
Strong response from developers has continued with projects in strategic locations where the installation of new solar systems is expected to provide benefits to the electric distribution system. Five awarded projects went beyond solar, integrating energy efficiency and energy storage into their bids, an option available for the first time.
Many of the sites receiving awards will use remote net metering, which allows eligible renewable energy system owners that produce more energy than they consume at one location annually to accrue credits that can be used to offset other electric accounts under their name.
“The NY-Sun awards announced by Governor Cuomo underscore the tremendous strides that are being made to greatly increase the amount of clean solar electricity capacity in New York State,” said Gil C. Quiniones, President and Chief Executive Officer of New York Power Authority. “The competitive photovoltaic program leading to these awards also reflects a strategic approach for lowering solar power costs and spurring the private sector’s investments in this clean renewable power source.”
The New York Power Authority continues to work closely with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to bring about further integration of solar power through initiatives to reduce solar costs. This includes a newly introduced K-Solar Program, in partnership with the New York State Education Department.
Under the NY-Sun Competitive PV Program, installers submit proposals for funding based on commitments from companies interested in having PV installed at their sites and the proposed incentive for each PV project. Installers receiving awards can be found HERE.
NUMBER OF PLANNED PROJECT SITES BY REGION:
New York City
There are 32 projects sites in New York City: three in the Bronx, 10 in Brooklyn, four in Manhattan, 10 in Queens and five in Staten Island – including 24 public schools across the five boroughs.
There are 23 project sites in the Hudson Valley: one in Dutchess County, four in Orange County, one in Putnam County, two in Rockland County, two in Sullivan County and 13 in Westchester County – including President Container in Middletown and Dutchess County Airport.
There are 18 project sites in the Capital Region: two in Albany County, five in Columbia County, two in Rensselaer County, six in Saratoga County, and one each in Schenectady, Warren and Washington counties — including the Town of Moreau Industrial Park, Town of Halfmoon, Mohawk Fine Paper in Cohoes, Environment One Corp. in Niskayuna and Emma Willard School in Troy.
There are 20 project sites in the Mohawk Valley: one in Fulton County, six in Herkimer County, seven in Oneida County, one in Otsego County and five in Schoharie County – including three sites in the City of Utica, one site at the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office and one site in the City of Amsterdam.
There are six project sites in the North Country: one in Clinton County, three in Jefferson County and two in St. Lawrence County – including ConMed Corp. in Philadelphia (St. Lawrence County), Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority, and Plattsburgh Airport.
There are eight project sites in the Southern Tier, two in Broome County and six in Tompkins County — including Volcraft of NY in Chemung, Vanguard Printing in Ithaca and the Ithaca Thompkins Regional Airport.
Central New York
There are 13 project sites in Central New York: one in Cortland County, three in Madison County, seven in Onondaga County and two in Oswego County – including the Liverpool School District (Onondaga County), Onondaga County and ConMed Corp. in Sullivan (Madison County).
There are 13 project sites in the Finger Lakes: one in Genesee County, one in Livingston County, six in Monroe County, four in Ontario County and one in Wayne County – including Hobart and William Smith College and the Avon Central School District in Avon (Livingston County).
Western New York
There were nine project sites in Western New York: two in Cattaraugus County and seven in Erie County – including the Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus in Buffalo.
This is expected to be the final solicitation under the Competitive PV program. Plans are under development to incorporate projects larger 200 MW into the recently announced statewide NY-Sun Incentive Program starting in 2015 through a proven MW block system approach that is responsive to changing market conditions, allowing the solar market in each region of the state to grow at its own pace. The NY-Sun Incentive Program strategically deploys public funds to drive industry to scale and reduce burdens on ratepayers.
NY-Sun is part of Governor Cuomo’s commitment to protect the environment, grow the clean energy economy and lower energy costs for all New Yorkers. It is a dynamic public-private partnership to drive growth in the solar industry and make solar technology more affordable. Since Governor Cuomo launched NY-Sun in 2012, a total of 316 MW of solar electric has been installed or is under contract, more than was installed in the entire prior decade. The NY-Sun initiative brings together and expands existing programs administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Long Island Power Authority, PSEG Long Island, and the New York Power Authority, to ensure a coordinated, well-funded solar energy expansion plan and a transition to a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry.
With this initiative, New York’s role as a leader and first mover in shaping the future of energy remains firmly in place. By developing innovative market solutions, the State is delivering on Governor Cuomo’s commitment to transform the energy industry into a more resilient, clean, cost-effective and dynamic system. Working with State, citizen and industry stakeholders, New York’s energy policy is moving to a more market-based, decentralized approach. This means preserving the environment, decreasing energy costs, and creating opportunities for economic growth for current and future generations of New Yorkers. In advancing these new energy systems and solutions, New Yorkers will have improved energy affordability and efficiency without sacrificing the ability to live in a cleaner, resilient and more sustainable environment.