New York sets framework for 10 GW+ of distributed solar by 2030

New York

New York leadership set a framework to achieve at least 10 GW of distributed solar by 2030, enough to annually power nearly 700,000 homes. This would be one of the largest solar programs in the nation. The roadmap was submitted by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York State Department of Public Service (DPS) to the Public Service Commission for public comment and approval.

How do they plan to deploy 10 GW or more of distributed solar — projects under 5 MW in size — by 2030? NYSERDA determined that extending the State’s NY-Sun initiative was the way to go. The proposal includes approximately $4.4 billion in private investment and plans to create 6,000 additional solar jobs across the state. The program expansion will also deliver at least 35 percent of the benefits with a goal of 40 percent from the investments to statutorily-defined disadvantaged communities and low-to moderate- income New Yorkers.

• At least 1.6 GW of new solar capacity must benefit disadvantaged communities and low-to-moderate income New Yorkers, with an estimated $600 million in investments serving these communities;
• At least 450 MW will be built in the Con Edison electric service area (covering New York City and parts of Westchester), increasing the installed solar capacity in this area to over 1 GW, enough to power nearly 175,000 homes, by the end of decade;
• At least 560 MW will be advanced through the Long Island Power Authority; and
• A new requirement that workers associated with the construction of NY-Sun supported projects that are greater than 1 MW be paid the applicable prevailing wage. Projects that have submitted their initial utility interconnection application prior to the filing of this Roadmap are proposed to be exempt from the new prevailing wage requirement.

Expanding the state’s solar goal is expected to have an average bill impact for New York customers of less than one percent, or approximately $0.71 per month for the average residence. The Roadmap is available for public comment on the Department of Public Service’s website and subsequent decision-making in 2022.

NYSERDA will extend its ongoing technical assistance for all municipalities in the state to assist localities in aligning solar development with local priorities. In addition, projects sited in New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ designated Agricultural Districts must follow Guidelines for Agricultural Mitigation for Solar Energy Projects and will be subject to an additional review process with the NYSDAM, as well as with local agricultural boards. Those projects that exceed 30 acres of impact to prime agricultural soils will be subject to mitigation fees.

In 2020, New York was ranked first in the nation in new community solar installations and second for total distributed solar installations. Since 2011, NY-Sun, New York State’s $1.8 billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar and move the State closer to having a sustainable solar industry, has:

• Fostered 12,000 jobs in the solar industry;
• Supported 114,000 completed projects with nearly 6,000 in active development in the NY-Sun pipeline – together, enough to power more than 2.2 million homes;
• Installed solar on the rooftop or property of 145,000 homes spanning every county in New York;
• Provided over $1 billion in incentives, leveraging $5.6 billion in private investment;
• Driven over 2,100 percent solar growth in the State;
• Delivered enough clean, renewable energy to power over 522,000 New York homes;
• Allocated $135 million for projects benefiting low-to-moderate income households and disadvantaged communities.

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