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NY-Sun’s Solarize Initiative is Getting the Job Done

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that 2,439 solar projects have been installed or are in development in communities throughout New York. These projects are part of locally-organized campaigns supported through the NY-Sun Solarize Initiative. Solarize is a vital component of Governor Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard, which requires that half of New York’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2030.

Launched in 2014, the NY-Sun initiative has supported 81 Solarize campaigns through the first three rounds of funding, which include the 2,439 local projects statewide. In this latest round, and for the first time, community solar was included as a component eligible for support, which resulted in 175 residents and small businesses in the southern tier and mid-Hudson Valley regions signing up.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has provided nearly $830,000 in technical and marketing support through the first three rounds of Solarize. Projects in all rounds (including community solar subscriptions) total 19.47 megawatts of installed solar – the equivalent of powering 3,241 homes per year.

In total, campaigns have saved participants approximately $3.6 million in upfront purchase costs, for an average savings of $1,476 per installation. The table shows the breakdown of Solarize projects by region.

Region

Number of Campaigns

Total

Total

Projects

Megawatts

Capital Region

9

194

1.40 MW

Central New York

8

277

3.40 MW

Finger Lakes

5

99

0.81 MW

Long Island

5

115

1.03 MW

Mid-Hudson Valley*

25

963

7.65 MW

New York City

5

194

0.96 MW

North Country

7

140

0.99 MW

Southern Tier*

12

277

2.07 MW

Western New York

5

180

1.16 MW

Total

81

2,439

19.47 MW

Solarize brings together groups of potential solar customers, including low-to-moderate income participants, through widespread outreach and education to help customers choose solar companies that offer competitive, transparent pricing. The campaigns are managed by partnerships that include community officials, elected officials, municipalities and businesses. These partnerships help simplify the procurement and installation of solar panels and obtain discounts through aggregated purchases.

Campaigns generally run between six and nine months, including planning and outreach and serve as a complement to community solar projects, which increase access to solar in areas where residents may or may not own property or have room to install solar panels at their location. By educating the local community, streamlining marketing efforts, and aggregating customers, Solarize helps make solar a more accessible and affordable energy option for homeowners and businesses.

Households and businesses can subscribe to their local solar project and have energy delivered through their regular electric provider while the power produced from the 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.

The fourth round of campaigns is now launching throughout the state to build on the success of the initiative in helping additional neighborhoods to go solar. To find New York Solarize campaigns, visit http://bit.ly/NYSolarizeCampaignMap.

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