Mar 3 2014
Last Day to Submit Comments on Increased Funding for Solar Power in NYS
Photo credit: Brookhaven Lap  via Creative Commons
March 3, 2014
Last Day to Submit Comments on Increased Funding for Solar Power in NYS

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Today—March 3rd—is the last day for New Yorkers to submit comments regarding the state’s plans for a massive, long-term investment in solar power.

Governor Cuomo has announced his intention to expand the NY-Sun program over a period of ten years, a billion dollar investment in total.

According to Clean Technica, New York ranked third in the nation for most “solar-friendly” policies in 2013. But the state lagged behind in 16th place in terms of the actual amount of per-capita solar power capacity.

Interestingly, New Jersey ranks fourth in studies of per capita solar power capacity. Why is New Jersey so far ahead of New York? Clean Technica argues that Jersey’s success “is partly driven by relatively high electricity prices but is largely driven by some very strong solar policies the state has had.”

A Plan for Solar

The Cuomo administration is determined to jumpstart New York’s solar market. The NY-Sun program “brings together and expands” the state’s existing solar initiatives, ensuring ”a coordinated, well-funded solar energy expansion plan.” The program provides financial incentives for solar development, and also works to lower project installation costs.

On January 6th, NYSERDA [the NYS Energy Research & Development Authority] filed a petition with the Public Service Commission seeking approval for the $1 billion increase in the NY-Sun budget, which would support the deployment of 3,000 megawatts of solar power by 2023.

Advocates say that 3,000 megawatts of solar power would generate enough energy for almost half a million homes across the state.

“These dollar budgets and megawatt targets are essential to providing the certainty, longevity, and scale necessary to drive investment,” wrote the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Pierre Bull in his blog. “But equally vital are the much-needed program design changes that NYSERDA has proposed.”

Comments on NYSERDA’s petition are due by March 3rd and can be emailed to the Public Service Commission at secretary@dps.ny.gov.

Specific details on how to comment are here.

Photo credit: Brookhaven Lap  via Creative Commons