New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced an aggressive expansion of the state’s solar energy program to hit 10 gigawatts of distributed solar power installed by 2030.
The new push to install distributed solar energy should add roughly 6,000 solar jobs, according to a statement from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
It’s a huge boon for distributed energy advocates who believe that the resource is under-invested around the nation and could boost prospects for other states to pursue more distributed renewable power deployments.
“New York State must be more aggressive in setting the bar higher in recognition of the reality of climate change and the closing window of time to stop the worst impacts nationally and globally,” Governor Hochul said in a statement. “With this expansion, we are demonstrating New York State’s commitment to increasing the amount of renewable energy flowing to the electric grid as well as creating more jobs in the solar industry in support of our growing clean energy economy. Climate change is a public health issue — we need to fight with everything we’ve got in order to ensure generations to come will be able to thrive on a healthy, efficient planet.”
NYSERDA said the projects resulting from the expanded goal are expected to power nearly 1.7 million homes and will look to deploy much of those solar assets in disadvantaged communities.
“Governor Hochul’s 10 gigawatt target for distributed solar will help us expand rooftop and community solar to even more families in New York, all while cleaning our air, creating high-quality jobs, and strengthening our communities,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “New York is already experiencing the impacts of climate change and local, onsite solar and storage projects can help us boost our resilience. The solar industry stands ready to help New York meet this ambitious target.”
Already the installed distributed solar projects, combined with the projects that are under development, bring the State to 95 percent of the current Climate Act goal to install six gigawatts of solar by 2025.
Despite New York’s comparative lack of sunshine compared to other states in the U.S., its solar energy industry is booming. New York ranked first in the nation for community solar installations and second for total installations. Since the state launched its NY-Sun program nearly 114,000 NY-Sun supported projects were completed with 6,000 more in the pipeline.
All told, nearly 2.2 million homes will be powered by solar energy once the state’s 73 utility-scale solar projects and its community solar pipeline are filled.
The cost to the state has been roughly $1.8 billion, which was complemented by $5.3 billion in private spending.