NYSERDA Announces First Awards of Solar For All Program to Assist Low Income New Yorkers

03 Dec 2018

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced that nine community solar projects throughout New York have been awarded contracts through the “Solar For All” program. This is the first in a series of awards under the program to provide access to no-cost community solar to 10,000 low-income New Yorkers. Increasing access to renewable energy for all New Yorkers is a cornerstone of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s clean energy agenda, and today’s announcement supports both the state’s goal of building three gigawatts of solar projects by 2023 and the Governor’s mandate for 50 percent of New York’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 to combat climate change.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “Today, under the forward-thinking leadership of Governor Cuomo, solar energy is growing faster than ever before, and it is accessible for more New York homeowners and renters than ever before. NYSERDA is proud to be advancing the Solar for All program to make sure that our most vulnerable residents have increasing access renewable energy while supporting the Governor’s commitment to lowering energy costs for New York families.”

As part of Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion NY-Sun program, Solar For All offers eligible low-income households the opportunity to subscribe to a community solar project in their area without any upfront costs or participation fees. By enabling consumers to subscribe to a local community solar project, these projects increase access to solar for homeowners and renters who may not have ideal conditions to install solar panels at their location. Energy is still delivered through their regular electric provider while the power produced from the community solar array is fed directly back to the electric grid. As a result, the grid is supplied with clean, renewable energy while subscribers get credit on their electric bills. Today's announcement supports New York's nation-leading efforts to combat climate change as part of the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of 16 states and Puerto Rico committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pursuing aggressive climate actions at the state level in light of the Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords, to create an energy grid that can be relied on during severe weather events.

Solar for All projects selected in the first round will serve approximately 7,000 low income homeowners and renters who receive electric service from NYSEG, National Grid, Central Hudson, and Orange & Rockland. In addition to savings on participant electric bills, some of the selected projects have also committed to additional community benefits, including donations to local organizations serving families in need, educational programs for local schools, and committing additional project capacity to subscriptions for low-to-moderate income households. NYSERDA will launch a second round of the program in 2019, which will expand the number of households and areas served by the program.

The Solar for All contracts were awarded to groups located in these towns and regions:

  • Town of Crawford (Mid-Hudson): Clearway Energy Group: Crans Mill is a 2.8 megawatt community solar project of which 1 megawatt will be used to provide no-cost solar subscriptions in Orange and Rockland’s utility territory.
  • Town of Grand Island (Western New York): BlueRock Energy Solar, Inc.: BlueRock Grand Island is a 2.1 megawatt community solar project of which 1 megawatt will be used to provide no-cost solar subscriptions in National Grid’s utility territory in western New York.
  • Town of Johnstown (Mohawk Valley): Common Energy: Johnstown A and B are two community solar projects - 2.8 megawatts and 2.0 megawatts - adjacent to each other, and will provide 1 megawatt each for no-cost solar subscriptions in National Grid’s Capital Region utility territory.
  • Town of Mooers (North Country): Delaware River Solar: Boas #4 is a 2.7 megawatt community solar project of which 1 megawatt will be used to provide no-cost solar subscriptions in NYSEG’s northern New York region as well as the rest of NYSEG’s utility territory.
  • Town of Poughkeepsie (Mid-Hudson): Clearway Energy Group: Underhill is a 3.0 megawatt community solar project of which 1 megawatt will be used to provide no-cost solar subscriptions in Central Hudson’s utility territory.
  • Town of Rochester (Mid-Hudson): Nexamp: Nexamp Rochester is a 5.6 megawatt community solar project of which 1 megawatt will be used to provide no-cost solar subscriptions in Central Hudson’s utility territory. 
  • Town of Seneca (Finger Lakes): Nexamp: Nexamp Seneca is a 2.6 megawatt community solar project of which 1 megawatt will be used to provide no-cost solar subscriptions in NYSEG’s Central New York region as well as the rest of NYSEG’s utility territory. 
  • Town of Thompson (Mid-Hudson): Delaware River Solar: Sackett Lake is a 2.8 megawatt community solar project of which 1 megawatt will be used to provide no-cost solar subscriptions in NYSEG’s utility territory in the Mohawk Valley region.

Eligibility for Solar for All is based on a resident’s location, household income, and annual electric usage. For more information on Solar for All eligibility and to sign up, homeowners and renters are encouraged to visit: http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/solarforall/. Residents who need help answering questions about Solar for All can email solarforall@nyserda.ny.gov or call 1-877-NYSMART.

Funding for this program is provided by the state’s 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund (CEF), a core component of New York State’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to achieve a clean, resilient, and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers.

NYSERDA | nyserda.ny.gov