New Projects Will Significantly Increase New York State’s Leadership in Renewable Energy Production
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $46 million has been awarded under his NY-Sun initiative for large-scale solar energy projects that will add 52 megawatts to the state’s solar capacity. Today’s announcement follows a year of unprecedented growth for solar installations in the state as a result of the NY-Sun initiative.
Awards have been made to 28 recipients to finance 76 large-scale solar energy projects in 33 counties across the state. Installations will be located at businesses, factories, municipal buildings and other larger commercial and industrial companies, and are expected to be on line by the end of this year. As a result of NY-Sun, more photovoltaic (PV) systems are now being deployed in the state than in the entire prior decade.
The $46 million from New York State, awarded through a competitive program, leverages $100 million in private investment, resulting in $146 million in infrastructure projects.
“The NY-Sun initiative is driving the growth of solar energy systems that will help businesses and municipalities benefit from cost-effective, on-site electricity generation,” said Governor Cuomo. “At the same time, it is building the State’s clean-energy economy and growing jobs, showcasing once again that New York is a leader in renewable energy and environmental stewardship.”
The NY-Sun Competitive PV Program, which provides incentives for PV systems larger than 50 kilowatts, is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Funding per project is capped at $3 million, and all projects require co-funding to best leverage state resources.
“Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative has been the catalyst for the unprecedented growth of solar power in the state,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO, NYSERDA. “Large projects such as the ones announced today highlight the fact that public-private partnerships are having a significant positive impact on the state’s ability to diversify its renewable energy portfolio, reduce demand on the electric grid and stimulate economic activity.”
Today’s awards are made under the first of three rounds of the Competitive PV solicitation, which is a key element of New York’s Renewable Portfolio Standard program. Second round proposals have been received, and proposals for the third round are due August 29, 2013.
A steady decline in the cost to build solar PV projects since the Competitive PV Program’s launch in 2011 has enabled significant reductions to the incentives that are awarded. In 2011, the portfolio-weighted average incentive awarded was $1.30 per Watt, while in 2012 it had dropped to $0.93 per Watt. Today’s awards represent a further decline to $0.88 per Watt, or about 30 percent of the cost to build these projects.
The projects are meant to produce power for on-site use, not for direct sale to utilities. Under certain circumstances, however, unused power can be added to the grid in exchange for future utility credit.
In addition to the Competitive PV program, NYSERDA also offers a smaller-scale solar PV program (projects of 50 kilowatts or less) under the NY-Sun Initiative. Funding under this program is $3.1 million per month in 2013. This standard offer, non-competitive open enrollment program provides funding for systems up to 7 kilowatts for residential sites and up to 50 kilowatts for non-residential sites.
Governor Cuomo launched the NY-Sun initiative to accelerate solar power development in New York State. Combined efforts of NYSERDA, New York Power Authority (NYPA) and Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) in 2012 led to the successful installation of over 58 megawatts (MW) of PV in the State, nearly doubling the amount of customer-sited PV installed in 2011. Including today’s awards, a total of 242 MW of PV has been installed or is under development as part of NY-Sun. More PV systems are being developed under NY-Sun than in the entire prior decade combined.
For more information on the NY-Sun Initiative, please visit www.ny-sun.ny.gov. The NY-Sun Competitive PV Program solicitation can be found here.