NY State Awards Funding for 79 New Solar Energy Projects

on July 24, 2013 at 4:15 PM

New York Blackout 2003

New large-scale solar projects earmarked for funding under the NY-Sun initiative will potentially increase New York’s solar capacity by 64 MW, bringing the state to the forefront of solar energy development.

On July 9, 2013, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced $54 million in funding for large-scale solar projects having a combined capacity of 64 MW.  The state funding will pair with $120 million in private investment for the new solar-energy infrastructure projects.  It represents the second of three rounds of funding under the NY-Sun Initiative, a solar photovoltaic (PV) solicitation program, which is central to the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.  The third round of funding is due on August 29th.

The funding, assigned to 20 recipients, will finance 79 projects in 26 counties across the state.  The funding is for solar PV installations for on-site use in large commercial and industrial facilities, including businesses, factories, municipal buildings, and factories.  Direct sale to utilities is not permitted except under specified circumstances, where unused power can be directed to the grid, in return for future utility credit.

The NY-Sun initiative, overseen by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, incentivizes solar PV systems larger than 50 KW.  It restricts financing to $3 million per project, requiring additional private investment to gain from state resources.  Under the initiative, the state witnessed more than 58 MW of PV installations in 2012, approximately double the amount installed in 2011.  Governor Cuomo launched the initiative in April 2012 to expedite solar power installation by funding projects through 2015, and has proposed legislation to extend it through 2023.

A continual drop in solar panel costs has reduced incentive amounts, facilitating funding for more facilities.  The new funding corresponds to a portfolio-weighted average incentive of $0.84 per watt, approximately 31% of the project cost, a substantial decline from $1.30 per watt two years ago.  The new projects will potentially increase the state’s total solar PV capacity – existing and ongoing installations – to approximately 299 MW.

July 10, 2013 via Energy Solutions Forum

Energy Solutions Forum is an energy policy research and data company based in New York City. Follow @EnergySolForum for policy research and stay plugged in with ESF Calendar, the industry’s go-to resource for energy business events in and around NYC.