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Governor Cuomo Announces Community Solar and Storage Program for Local Governments that will Create 1,250 Clean Energy Jobs

19 Feb 2021

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced accelerated plans to help local governments and state agencies build at least 40 distributed solar systems that will generate renewable energy while bringing reliable, affordable and sustainable energy to surrounding communities. The 40 projects will help meet a newly announced New York Power Authority 2025 community solar target that sets a goal of 75 megawatts of renewable capacity that includes 15 MW of paired battery storage, enough energy to offset the emissions of 2,572  cars. These projects are expected to stimulate more than $135 million in direct, private investments toward their development, construction, and operation, and create more than 1,250 short-term and long-term jobs.

Included in Governor Cuomo's clean energy agenda in his 2021 State of the State address on January 13, NYPA's new Community Solar and Storage Program will allow electricity customers to buy into a renewable project in their area, get credit on their monthly utility bills, and do their part to help the state increase the supply of clean, renewable energy into the electric grid.

"New York has the strongest community solar market in the nation, and we are continuing to prioritize the development of renewable sources that will transform the energy industry, protect the environment and lower energy costs for New York families and businesses," Governor Cuomo said. "Partnering with local governments and state agencies for community projects will further solar and storage deployment, while creating new jobs all across the state. By working together, we will advance New York's nation-leading commitment to fight climate change and generate more clean, affordable energy to our electric grid."

The initiative is open to municipal communities including counties, towns, cities and villages, as well as state agencies to serve as project hosts for community solar projects. Interested participants should contact the NYPA Community Solar and Storage Program by emailing NYPA, which acts as an energy advisor and already has several community solar projects in the pipeline, is stepping up its commitment by creating this statewide community solar and storage program for state agencies and local governments that aligns with the state's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act agenda. The Act calls for installing 6,000 megawatts of solar by 2025 and 3,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030. 

Community solar benefits communities by offering households, schools, and businesses the opportunity to benefit from a solar project in their area often without any upfront costs or participation fees. These projects increase access to solar for renters, homeowners, low-income residents, schools, and businesses who may not have the ability or ideal conditions to install solar panels at their buildings. Solar energy is fed into the electric grid and local subscribers get credit on their electric bills.