The New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA) has published a new research report on the future of community solar in the state. The report, ‘Realizing the Potential for Community Solar in New York State: Benefits, Barriers, and Solutions’, explores the past, present and future of NY community solar. The report highlights the impressive growth of New York community solar since 2015, while also providing recommendations to ensure continued growth—particularly with regards to low- and moderate-income (LMI) community solar.
New York Community Solar Statistics
The following statistics from the report are correct and accurate as of December 2020.
371 community solar projects, comprising 497 megawatts of capacity, are operational in New York. This is enough to power approximately 100,000 homes.
90% of this capacity was installed in 2019 and 2020, highlighting the progressive growth and scaling up of NY community solar.
Roughly 63% of capacity installed in NY in 2020 was part of the community solar program.
On a national level, New York was the largest community solar market for 2020 installations, and second largest overall for cumulative deployments.
Potential Barriers for New York Community Solar
As we can see from the statistics above, the New York community solar market has seen significant growth in the years since its 2015 inception. However, NYSEIA’s new report has also identified a number of potential barriers to the future growth of NY community solar. The report identifies the following areas as potentially posing challenges for further development of the NY community solar sector.
Interconnection hosting capacity constraints
Costs to upgrade the electric distribution system
Utility interconnection delays
Key Recommendations From the Report
Taking into account the progress of New York community solar thus far, as well as the potential barriers to its future growth, the NYSEIA report also outlines a number of key policy recommendations to ensure continued growth for the sector, including:
Accelerated investment in distribution-level infrastructure in order to enable DER hosting capacity expansion, along with adoption of advanced technologies to mitigate the need for expensive grid updates.
Updated Value of Distributed Energy Resources (VDER) tariff—in particular, the Environmental Value (E-Value) and Demand Reduction Value (DRV)—along with the introduction of an additional component to reflect the avoided long-run transmission infrastructure costs associated with DER deployment.
Replenishment of the Con Edison Community Credit for allocations previously made to natural gas fuel cells, as well as the introduction of a successor Community Credit on a phase-down basis.
Implementation of a multi-year extension for the Long Island Community Credit and Community Adder.
Creation of State-convened discussion forums in Upstate and Western New York with the purpose of addressing local opposition to project siting—along with dedicated incentives for agricultural dual-use projects (agrivoltaics).
Development of initiatives to increase awareness of community solar benefits for local communities, and to address common misconceptions concerning environmental risks associated with solar energy.
Introduction of State- and utility-sponsored education initiatives designed to to improve customer awareness and address any negative perceptions of community solar.
Adoption of ‘no-touch’ permitting practices for rooftop projects in order to reduce permitting timelines and soft costs.
Elimination of regulatory barriers which limit membership to projects sited in the same utility territory, as well as the implementation of cross-utility crediting to enable the transfer of bill credits across different utilities.
If you’re interested in exploring New York community solar then get in touch with YSG Solar today. YSG will identify the ideal community solar subscription for your needs and guide you through the subscription process to ensure the biggest savings on your utility bill. To learn more, send us an email or call at 212.389.9215.
If you’d like to contribute to the further development of New York solar and also generate an additional revenue stream with minimal effort on your part, consider a solar land lease. YSG is currently seeking suitable land for solar farm development in the following New York counties:
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.