Governor says big increase in solar in NY over last 5 years
Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced state-supported solar power in New York increased nearly 800 percent from December 2011 to December 2016, leveraging nearly $1.5 billion in private investment. Solar growth is critical to the Governor’s Clean Energy Standard that 50 percent of New York’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2030.
“New York is a national leader in clean energy, and the tremendous growth of the solar industry across this state demonstrates this renewal technology’s increased accessibility and affordability for residents and businesses,” Cuomo said. “Our investments in this clean energy resource create jobs, reduce carbon emissions, support economic growth, and help build a cleaner, greener New York for all.”
The 795 percent solar growth in the State over the last five years was supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the New York Power Authority, the Long Island Power Authority and other private and public sector actors. 64,926 projects were installed through the end of 2016, compared with 8,989 through the end of 2011. These state-supported projects total nearly 744 megawatts of solar power installed. That amount of electricity would be sufficient to meet the needs of more than 121,000 average homes.
The significant growth of solar power is attributed to a combination of factors, including the NY-Sun Megawatt Block Incentive program, a decline in solar equipment prices, and growth in the number of installer businesses marketing solar directly to consumers.
The largest percentage increase in solar power was in the Mohawk Valley, followed by the Finger Lakes Region, Central New York and the Southern Tier. Long Island has more installations than any other region of the State, followed by the Mid-Hudson Valley and Capital Region.
In addition to the new solar installations over the last five years, more than 886 MW of additional solar power was under development in the State as of the end of last year, enough to power more than 150,000 average homes.
In 2014, Governor Cuomo made a historic commitment of nearly $1 billion to NY-Sun to stimulate the marketplace and increase the number of solar electric systems across the State over 10 years. NY-Sun aims to add more than three gigawatts of installed solar capacity in the State by 2023. One gigawatt equals 1,000 megawatts. New York now has more than 8,000 workers engaged in solar jobs.
Maps showing megawatts of solar for counties in each New York region and a chart illustrating pre-NY-Sun versus post-NY-Sun figures can be found by clicking here. In Orleans, the solar power is up to 1.2 megawatts.
“The surge in the solar market is providing energy savings for New York households and businesses, and creating thousands of jobs as the industry grows to meet this demand,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO of NYSERDA. “NY-Sun demonstrates Governor Cuomo’s clean energy strategy in action.”