State Solar Policy

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New York Solar

New York has a considerable amount of solar potential and has consistently been in the top 10 US solar markets.  Pursuant to Governor Cuomo’s stated commitment to the NY-SUN initiative, the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) recently announced a 10-year $1 billion commitment to developing a self-sustaining solar market in New York State. The program will lead to 3,000MW of PV installations across New York State by 2022.  The state has other policies in place to promote solar investment, including a feed-in tariff through Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and net metering.  Through its Reforming the Energy Vision docket, the Commission reviewing the regulatory and market environment needed to encourage a more efficient electricity system, including increased amounts of distributed generation. 

Click here to download the fact sheet.

Facts on the New York Solar Industry

  • There are currently more than 611 solar companies1  at work throughout the value chain in New York, employing 8,250 people2 .
  • In 2015, New York installed 242 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking it seventh nationally3. Installed solar capacity in New York has grown by 65% over the last year. 
  • In 2015, $733 million was invested on solar installations in New York.  This represents a 63% increase over the previous year, and is expected to grow again this year. 
  • The 802 MW of solar energy currently installed in New York ranks the state seventh in the country in installed solar capacity.  There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 136,000 homes.
  • Over the next five years, New York is expected to install 3,007 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking the state fifth over that time span. This amount is more than 6 times the amount of solar installed over the last five years.
  • Installed solar PV system prices in the U.S. have dropped steadily- by 12% from last year and 66% from 2010. 

View more solar data.

Click here to watch an archived webinar covering the solar market in New York>>

SEIA New York State Policy Priorities

  • Promote a strong fiscal environment for solar, including maintaining support for solar incentive programs over the long-term, and promoting effective implementation of the declining block incentive programs, and clarifying questions around applicability of state and county sales tax.
  • Through participation in the Reforming the Energy Vision (see below) docket and other arenas as appropriate, promote solar friendly policies in any future regulatory construct.
  • Ensure efficient implementation of net metering policies, including addressing net metering caps.

The New York Department of Public Services' Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) Initiative aims to shape regulatory changes to promote energy efficiency and increased use of renewable energy statewide. For more information, visit the REV Initiative website

Notable Solar Installations in New York

  • Long Island Solar Farm was completed in 2011 by developer BP Solar.  This photovoltaic project has the capacity to generate 32 MW of electricity-- enough to power over 5,400 New York homes4
  • At 5 MW, Eastern Long Island Solar Project is among the largest solar installations in New York.  Completed in 2012 by EDF Renewables, this photovoltaic project has enough electric capacity to power more than 800 homes5
  • Several large retailers in New York have gone solar, including Walmart, Kohl's, Macy's, and Target. Anheuser-Busch has installed one of the largest corporate photovoltaic systems in the state with 797 kW of solar capacity at their location in Bronx6.

See our solar installations maps.

Solar Companies in New York

There are currently more than 611 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in New York.  These companies provide a wide variety of solar products and services ranging from solar system installations to the manufacturing of components used in photovoltaic panels.  These companies can be broken down across the following categories: 74 manufacturers, 26 manufacturing facilities, 174 contractor/installers, 47 project developers, 33 distributors and 283 engaged in other solar activities including financing, engineering and legal support.


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How much do solar panels cost in New York? 

Solar panel costs have fallen significantly in the last 5 years and now installing solar panels can be one of the best investments you can make for your home. There are also now a lot of products on the market utilizing sophisticated financing vehicles to make solar panels for your home affordable. This website will show you the average retail price of installing home solar panels in New York.

Solar rebates and solar tax credits in New York.

Solar incentives are offered at the utility, county, state and federal level. These solar incentives can take various forms including solar tax credits, up front solar rebates, premium feed in tariffs (known as net metering) or solar production incentives.The eligibility and rules for each incentive program can vary greatly. This solar panel calculator allows you to enter your address and it will tell you what solar incentives will apply at your house and the value of these if you go solar.

Finding the right solar company for you:

There are many solar companies in New York offering a wide variety of brands and options. This consumer reviews website will show you the consumer ratings of each solar installer that services your area and will also show you what brands of solar panels.

New York Solar Policy Resources

New York State Energy Research & Development Authority - Find a wide variety of information on state government energy programs, research, policy, projects, energy-saving strategies and energy-related statistics

New York State Public Service Commission - Learn about the governing body that regulates the electricity rates and services of New York public utilities

New York State Assembly - Track pending legislation affecting solar energy, locate and contact individual legislators, and stay up to date on current legislative issues in New York

DSIRE incentives database - New York - Search a public clearinghouse for specific solar energy incentives in New York and across the United States

U.S. Energy Information Administration - New York State Profile - Explore official energy statistics, including data on electricity supply and demand, from the U.S. government


2The Solar Foundation, 2015 National and State Solar Jobs Census,
3This and all other data in this section from SEIA/GTM Research U.S. Solar Market Insight

For more information about SEIA’s activities in New York, send an email to our state affairs team and we will respond as promptly as possible.

A broad coalition, including SEIA is promoting legislation called the New York Solar Jobs Act, which would create 3,000 MW of new solar energy installations by 2021. To learn more visit the New York Solar Jobs Act website.

You can also contact our state affiliate, NYSEIA, for more information on solar policy in the Empire State.


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