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New York Expands Solar Access With Larger Community Projects

Tuesday, Feb 27 2018

Sean Gallagher
New York Community Solar


In great news for New York’s solar industry, the state is now welcoming community solar projects of up to five megawatts— a significant increase from the previous two megawatt cap.

The new policy from the New York Public Service Commission will enable many more New Yorkers to access solar energy, and especially those who cannot access it today, such as low-income residents, renters, municipalities and small businesses. By raising the cap on community solar, the policy will help lower the costs for such projects.

The development is a major step toward Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s goal to meet half the state’s electricity needs with renewable energy by 2030 and provide solar to 10,000 low-income New Yorkers. Gov. Cuomo has made clean energy a priority for his administration. In his 2018 State of the State address last month, he vowed to invest $200 million in energy storage research. The community solar policy works hand in hand with that funding.

New York is part of a growing movement by states that have rapidly growing community solar programs, from Minnesota to Massachusetts. New Jersey is also actively considering legislation that would create a community solar program. And it’s no wonder: these are common sense policies that significantly expand the pool of people who can benefit from solar. These programs can serve as models for other states looking to expand access to solar energy.

Especially in the face of the administration’s tariffs on solar imports, we need states to take the lead on creating pro-solar policies. It’s great to see New York and other states doing exactly that.

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