The New York state government has announced that the region’s portfolio of solar energy capacity has reached 3GW as the transition to renewable energy resources intensifies under efforts to mitigate climate change.
The 3GW solar energy capacity installed in New York is enough to power 522,000 households. The state has managed to expand its solar capacity by 2,100% since 2011, reduced the costs of solar by 69%, and created 12,000 jobs within the industry.
With the 3GW milestone, combined with other projects that are currently under development, New York has reached 95% of a target set by the state governor to install 6GW of solar capacity by 2025. The target was set under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
The state government gives credit to its NY-SUN initiative, launched in 2011 to provide technical and financial support to solar energy projects, for the expansion of the market. Under the NY SUN programme, New York has managed to provide $1 billion in incentives to solar projects, install solar for 145,000 homes, and committed $30 million for projects benefiting environmental justice and disadvantaged communities.
The programme resulted in a record year for solar installations in New York with up to 549MW of capacity being installed. As a result, in 2020, New York was ranked first in the nation in Community Solar installations and second for total installations across the US.
Governor Cuomo said: “Solar energy is a key component in New York’s transition to a clean energy economy as we work to reduce harmful emissions across the board and address the dual challenges of fighting climate change and rebuilding stronger post-pandemic.”
NYSERDA President and CEO, Doreen M. Harris, added: “Public-private partnerships are a cornerstone of our work, and we are incredibly proud of our collaboration with the stakeholders, developers, and landowners that have helped us achieve our three gigawatts of solar milestone, an important step on the path to greening our energy grid as part of the State’s equitable clean energy transition.”