SEIA Applauds Launch of New York’s MW Block Incentive Program

The NY-Sun Initiative is a $1 billion investment to significantly expand deployment of solar capacity throughout the state while transforming New York’s solar industry to a sustainable, subsidy-free sector over time.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Calling it a "key step" in New York's ongoing efforts to expand the use of clean solar energy statewide, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is predicting that this week's launch of the NY-Sun Commercial/Industrial MW Block Incentive Program will help to create hundreds of new jobs and spur economic development statewide.

"Once again, New York is showing how effective public policies can pay big dividends for the state's economy and its environment," said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. "We applaud Gov. Cuomo, his administration, legislative leaders and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for the successful launch of the MW Block Incentive Program and for their commitment to New York's clean energy future. We also want to give a ‘shout-out' to Con Edison, PSEG and the other utilities which are taking part in this exciting new program."

The NY-Sun Initiative is a $1 billion investment to significantly expand deployment of solar capacity throughout the state while transforming New York's solar industry to a sustainable, subsidy-free sector over time, according to NYSERDA. The program, a dynamic public-private partnership, also includes training for installers and public officials, standardized permitting, customer aggregation, consumer education and systems development.

Resch said the NY-Sun Initiative is clearly working. Growing by 105 percent, New York had the seventh most new solar capacity added last year in the nation, according to the recently-released U.S. Solar Market Insight 2014 Year in Review. The state also maintained its Top 10 ranking in total installed capacity, finishing the year behind only New Jersey and Massachusetts among Northeastern states.

In 2014, New York added 147 megawatts (MW) of solar electric capacity, bringing its total to 397 MW. That's enough clean, affordable energy to power nearly 70,000 homes. The report went on to point out that New York's biggest solar gains came in residential installations, but commercial installations were strong, as well, setting a new record. Of the new capacity added, 89 MW were residential, 49 MW were commercial and 9 MW were utility scale. Together, these installations represented a $451 million investment across New York - a 33 percent increase over the previous year.

"To put the state's remarkable progress in some context, the 397 MW of solar installed today in New York is more than our entire country had installed by 2007. That's an amazing achievement," Resch said. "What's more, we expect 2015 to be New York's best year ever for new PV installations, with more than 250 MW on new capacity projected to come online."

Today, there are 538 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in New York, employing more than 7,300 people. From an environmental perspective, solar installations in New York are helping to offset nearly 325,000 metric tons of harmful carbon emissions, which is the equivalent of removing more than 70,000 cars off state roads and highways or saving 363,000 gallons of gasoline.

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