Business, Environmental Leaders Applaud Commitment to 10 Times More Clean, Affordable Solar Power in New York State
"To his credit, Governor Cuomo understands that solar energy is one of the fastest-growing industries in America, powering both Wall Street and Main Street," said Rhone Resch, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). "Today, solar is creating thousands of jobs in New York and pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into the state's economy. But just as importantly, it's also helping to reduce pollution and protect our increasingly endangered environment. That's a win all the way around."
"The NY-Sun Initiative is designed to do something remarkable: to transform the state's energy landscape and make solar a cost-effective energy option for more New Yorkers. It's exciting to see that ambitious solar energy vision quickly turn into real opportunity under the Governor's leadership," said Peter Olmsted, East Coast Regional Director for Vote Solar. "The state's newly expanded and improved NY-Sun program is a roadmap for a stronger, more resilient solar-powered New York."
"Governor Andrew Cuomo's NY Sun program has created the greatest market opportunity for solar anywhere in the United States. For more than a decade NYSEIA and its member companies have advocated for a strong solar program. In just a single term, Governor Cuomo has shown the kind of bold leadership the industry and New York State needs. NYSEIA and its more than 100 member companies stand ready to provide private capital, good jobs, and clean energy to all New Yorkers. We thank Governor Cuomo and the State's Public Service Commission for making this the most significant day in the history of New York Solar," said Shaun Chapman, President of the New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA).
"More solar power means less air pollution that triggers asthma attacks and fuels our changing climate. Today's commitment to expand solar power is another step away from dirty energy sources and towards a brighter and healthier energy future. Its great news for all breathers," said Conor Bambrick, Air and Energy Program Director for Environmental Advocates of New York.
"This long-term commitment to boosting solar energy production is a big win for New Yorkers and our environment," said NYPIRG Environmental Campaign Organizer Joe Stelling. "Investing in clean energy and moving away from fossil fuels not only helps to protect public health and fight climate change by reducing harmful emissions, it also creates three times as many jobs as investing in fossil fuels while protecting ratepayers from price spikes caused by the volatile fossil fuels markets."
"In just three years, New York has gone from a couple hundred rooftops with solar panels statewide to cracking the top ten states in solar installations nationwide," said Kit Kennedy, Clean Energy Counsel at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in New York. "This announcement will help increase our progress more than ten-fold—taking us to a level never before seen in the state, and cementing New York as a national leader on solar power."
"Affordable, reliable solar power is putting New Yorkers in control of their energy supply and their electricity bills like never before. This long-term extension of Governor Cuomo's NY-Sun Initiative builds on the program's early success and provides the policy certainty needed for our energy consumers and our solar industry to continue investing with confidence in New York solar," said David Gahl, Director of Strategic Engagement at Pace Energy and Climate Center.
"Tens of thousands of citizens have raised their voices in support of this long-term solar commitment from Albany. We thank the Governor for championing NY-Sun on behalf of the New Yorkers he serves, who overwhelmingly support increasing the use of solar to power their homes, businesses and communities," said Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York Leauge of Conservation Voters.
The state's NY-Sun Initiative is a public-private partnership designed to drive growth in the state's solar industry and lower solar costs for homes, businesses, schools and other energy users. Since its launch in 2012, NY-Sun has resulted in almost 300 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic capacity installed or under development, more than was installed in the entire decade prior to the program, according to the Governor's office. The program also streamlines permitting processes, reducing costs for solar projects.
Originally launched as a two-year pilot program, the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved a petition from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to enhance and expand the successful program through 2023. The expanded program will fund an impressive 3,000 MW statewide solar deployment goal and transition the NY-Sun incentive program to a transparent, market-based megawatt (MW) block structure.
Today's NY-Sun extension is expected to:
*Build more than 3,000 megawatts (MW) of solar, enough reliable clean electricity to power nearly half a million New York homes
*Spur $8.3 billion dollars in local economic activity
*Support 10,000 local solar jobs (or 52,000 total job-years for the duration of the program)
*Cut climate change emissions by another 2.3 million tons annually, the equivalent of taking almost 450,000 cars off the road
*Deliver energy savings worth hundreds of millions of dollars to New York consumers
*Diversify the state's energy mix, which protects against price spikes
The NY-Sun extension had support from a coalition of businesses, trade associations, clean energy advocates and environmental groups, including: Borrego Solar Systems, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, CREDO, Environmental Advocates of New York, Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), New York League of Conservation Voters, NYPIRG, NRDC, NYSEIA, Organizing for Action, Pace Energy and Climate Center, SEIA, Sierra Club, SolarCity, SunEdison, Sungevity, Sunrun, The Nature Conservancy, Verengo Solar, and Vote Solar.
New York is one of our nation's top 10 solar markets with enough solar installed to power more than 38,300 homes. The state's growing solar industry employs 5,000 New Yorkers up and down the state, ranking it fifth in the nation for solar jobs. In 2013, $343 million was invested in New York to install solar on homes and businesses, a number that is expected to grow again in 2014.
- SEIA/GTM Research's U.S. Solar Market Insight: 2013 Year in Review: www.seia.org/smi
- The Solar Foundation's State Solar Jobs Map: www.solarstates.org