Albany Advocates, Businesses, and Elected Officials Call for More New York Solar

19 Sep 2018

The Million Solar Strong Campaign, a movement of leading industry, environmental, clean energy and community organizations, was joined by Albany elected officials and community leaders to urge Governor Cuomo and New York State to support the bold new goal of powering one million New York households--including 100,000 low-income households--with solar by 2023. 

The group chose the Million Dollar Staircase at the New York State Capitol for the announcement to highlight the role solar energy can play in meeting growing the region’s economy and create new jobs, while standing-up the the Trump Administration’s attacks on solar and clean energy. 

"We must embrace a bold vision for New York when it comes to solar energy.  Creating one million homes powered by solar by 2023, including 100,000 low-income households will kick start this effort.  Expanding solar energy will create jobs, save New Yorkers on utility bills, cut harmful air pollution, and accelerate an equitable transition to our clean energy future," said New York State Senator Neil Breslin. 

“I am proud to stand with the Million Solar Strong Campaign in part because it seeks to ensure solar will be accessible to many of my constituents. The benefits that solar provides should be accessible to homeowners, renters, low and middle income residents and people who for some reason can’t install solar on their home. More solar deployment, including community solar, will also play a key role in meeting New York’s clean energy goals. With new policies in place we can ensure New York once again becomes a top solar state,” said New York Assemblymember Patricia Fahy.  

“Solar energy is great for New York’s environment – and it’s a critical tool to power our economy and jobs growth, too,” said Dan Hendrick, President of the New York Solar Energy Industries Association. “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York has become a clean-energy powerhouse, but we are losing competitive ground to states like Minnesota and South Carolina. NYSEIA is proud to stand with the Million Solar Strong campaign in urging New York State to enact transformative policies that will harness home-grown, clean energy and create jobs in every corner of the state.” 

“Now is the time for New York to double down on our clean energy leadership and build a solar-powered economy with local jobs, local investment and local health benefits. The Trump Administration has gone out of its way to undermine solar energy, leaving New York’s environmental and clean energy progress vulnerable to harmful rollbacks,” said Elizabeth Broad, New Yorkers for Clean Power. “California has recently committed to 100% clean energy--Governor Cuomo should take a similarly bold step by setting New York State on the path to powering one million solar homes by 2023.” 

"The Pace Energy and Climate Center teaches the next generation of environmental law leaders,” said Karl R. Rábago, center executive director, “so joining with the Million Solar Strong coalition is about walking our talk, and ensuring that action in New York matches the policy words coming out of Albany. We have to do our part now so that future generations can address even tougher problems."

The Trump Administration’s reckless actions on climate, the environment, and clean energy require an equally bold response from New York. Making New York ‘One Million Solar Strong’ is the most important thing Governor Cuomo can do to protect and strengthen New York’s significant progress on solar. Currently, New York State has over 200,000 households powered by solar and 9,000 workers in the fast growing solar industry. Powering one million New York households with solar will generate jobs, reduce and stabilize utility bills, stimulate local investment, cut harmful air pollution, accelerate an equitable transition to our clean energy future, and counter the Trump Administration’s attacks.

The coalition is calling on Governor Cuomo to institute and support concrete policies to reach the one million solar strong goal. The coalition has released two roadmaps outlining robust policy recommendations to achieve the goal of one million households and one hundred thousand low-income households powered by solar, including:

  • Fair customer compensation
  • Drive accelerated and diverse solar growth
  • Facilitate affordable financing for solar growth, especially for new market sectors and underserved communities
  • Make solar a win-win for municipalities and customers
  • Ensure the modern grid and solar serve each other
  • Expand access for low-income, environmental justice and other underserved communities

Million Solar Strong Coalition | http://www.solarstrongny.org