In total, the New York state invested $1.5 billion for the deployment of solar energy projects to improve the reliability of the state's energy networks within the five years.
The $1.5 billion investment was issued to utility companies and programmes for both residential and commercial customers through the New York State Energy Research and Development (NYSERDA), the New York Power Authority and the Long Island Power Authority.
The money funded the implementation of some 64,926 solar energy projects and the addition of 744MW to the state's total energy portfolio between 2011 and 2016.
The funding has helped energy companies stabilise their grid networks especially during peak periods as well as improve their customer services by providing consumers with clean and affordable energy.
Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of New York, said: "Our investments in this clean energy resource [will] create jobs, reduce carbon emissions, support economic growth, and help build a cleaner, greener New York for all."
The investments were efforts by the state to meet its target of generating 50% of its total energy from renewable energy resources by 2030 in line with the state's Clean Energy Standard.
In a press statement issued on the NYSERDA website, the New York state government highlights that the growth in the adoption of solar energy resulted from a decline in the price of solar equipment, increased consumer and utility awareness on the benefits of solar energy and the introduction of regulation and programmes supporting the solar industry.
For instance, in 2014, the state announced that it will invest $1 billion under its NY-SUN project for research, development and implementation of solar technologies and projects. [New York updates standards for grid-solar integration].
Michael Voltz, director of energy efficiency and renewables at PSEG in Long Island, said: “Achieving a milestone of this magnitude is due in large part to providing our customers with an alternative option for meeting their energy needs.”
Evan Dube, Senior Director of Public Policy of Sunrun, which has installed solar panels in various New York regions, said, "Rooftop solar is a sustainable and economically efficient solution for the grid of the future and will bring more local jobs and cleaner air to New York.”
Image credit: www.inhabitat.com.