Under a new plan unveiled by Governor Kathy Hochul, New York is aiming to install 10 GW of distributed solar by 2030. The proposed plan involves an expansion of the NY-Sun initiative—a big factor in the growth of New York solar since its inception back in 2011. However, while clean energy and labor advocates have praised the goals of the proposal as a positive step, many believe that the state has the capacity to build even more than 10 GW of distributed solar by 2030.
Currently, NY has enough projects in development to bring the NY-Sun Program to 95% of its current goal of 6 GW by 2030. This new proposal from Governor Hochul would expand the existing program and increase the target to 10 GW by 2030. However, as noted, many in the clean energy sector believe that going beyond this new higher target of 10 GW is possible.
The NY-Sun Program So Far
Over the last decade, the NY-Sun Initiative has been a significant factor in the growth of distributed solar throughout the state. The figures below highlight some of the achievements of the NY-Sun Program to date.
Installation of solar at over 145,000 homes across every county in the state.
Provision of more than $1 billion in solar incentives.
Leveraging of $5.3 billion in private investment.
Contributing to over 2,100% solar growth in New York.
Delivery of renewable energy to power more than 522,000 NY homes.
Fostering 12,000 solar industry jobs.
Contributing to the cost of solar dropping 69% in 10 years.
Commitment of $30 million to projects benefiting environmental justice and disadvantaged communities.
Since its original launch in 2011, the program has supported the completion of 114,000 distributed solar projects, with another 6,000 currently in active development, placing New York first in the country for new community solar installations—and second for total distributed solar installations—in 2020.
Aims of Proposed Expansion
The proposed expansion to 10 GW of distributed solar by 2030 includes a number of aims which would build upon the prior success of the NY-Sun initiative. Among these aims are:
An additional $4.4 billion in private investment.
Creation of 6,000 more jobs.
Generation of enough energy to power 700,000 homes at a projected cost of $0.71 per month for the average residence.
Delivery of minimum 35%—with a target of 40%—of the benefits of these investments to disadvantaged NY communities and low-to moderate- income citizens.
The proposal was submitted to the Public Service Commission by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York State Department of Public Service (DPS) and is now open for public comment.
New Incentives for NY Solar
The new incentives for New York solar outlined in the proposal fall into the following 4 categories: Upstate Capital and Infrastructure (C&I), Small C&I, Large C&I, and Residential Projects. The Upstate C&I block is for development in Upstate New York, while the other 3 blocks are for Con Edison’s territory in Downstate NY. Below are the incentives available under each category until the end of 2022.
Initial block of 800 MW, with a $0.17/W base incentive and a $0.07 community adder for community distributed generation (CDG).
Additional 2.1 GW block to follow.
Small C&I (projects less than 1 MW in capacity)
Initial block of 30 MW, with a $1.30/W base incentive and a $0.10/W community adder.
Additional 120 MW block to follow.
Large C&I (projects greater than 1 MW in capacity)
Initial block set at 30 MW, with a $0.75/W base incentive and a $0.10/W community adder.
Additional 120 MW block to follow.
Initial block of 150 MW, with a $0.15/W base incentive.
While solar industry advocates have expressed enthusiasm for this proposed expansion—calling for a quick approval—some are of the belief that an even greater expansion is achievable. Zack Dufresne, executive director of the New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA), has suggested that the state could deploy as much as 12 GW of distributed solar by 2030. Dufresne cited evidence from a report released by Vote Solar and Local Solar for All in November 2021, which showed that an even more rapid deployment of distributed solar, alongside battery storage, would lead to billions of dollars in savings for the state.
Are you interested in developing your own New York solar project? Reach out to YSG today. YSG has been operating in the solar sector for over a decade, working on everything from residential rooftop projects to large-scale solar farms. Whether you want to install solar at your home, or lease your land for a solar farm, we can identify the ideal solar project for your needs. Call the office at 212.389.9215 or send us an email to learn more about going solar with YSG.
YSG Solar is a project development company responsible for commoditizing energy infrastructure projects. We work with long-term owners and operators to provide clean energy assets with stable, predictable cash flows. YSG's market focus is distributed generation and utility-scale projects located within North America.