Funding through NY-Sun Will Address Barriers to Solar for Low- to Moderate-Income Residents Living in Properties Not Served by Conventional Solar
Early this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced $3.6 million in funding is available to increase access to solar energy in low- to moderate-income (LMI) communities across the state. The funding will help affordable housing providers and community organizations overcome barriers they often face in advancing solar and clean energy projects. Solar energy can help New York meet its nation-leading Clean Energy Standard for 50 percent of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030. Expanding this renewable energy source is also expected to help New York reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030.
“Clean energy is key to combatting climate change and we must ensure that the development and use of these cutting edge technologies are not only available to the wealthy,” said Cuomo. “Through this effort, we are helping New Yorkers to save money and are building a cleaner and more resilient New York for all.”
Multiple barriers unique to serving low to moderate income communities can delay the progress of solar projects, including financing, procurement, marketing and customer outreach, and other components necessary for successful project development. According to administration officials, community organizations and affordable housing providers are critical partners in developing solutions to these barriers and achieving access to solar for LMI households, but they often lack the financial resources, solar market experience or staff capacity to bring a solar project from concept to operation. By making the funds available, the state aims to fill this gap by providing these on-the-ground allies with the resources they need to get solar projects off the ground and delivering clean power where it matters most.
“Under Governor Cuomo, New York is ensuring all communities have access to renewable energy under his Reforming the Energy Vision strategy,” said New York State Chairman of Energy and Finance Richard Kauffman. “From enabling community solar to providing support like this for pre-development work in underserved areas, our policies and programs are using new and innovative solutions for solar project development across our state so everyone can benefit from lower energy bills and be part of New York’s clean energy future.”
The funding, made available through the Governor’s NY-Sun Initiative, is being administered in addition to the State’s $234 million commitment under the Clean Energy Fund for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for LMI households. A total of 40 percent of New York State households have incomes considered low to moderate, which means they earn less than 80 percent of the median income in their area.
The $3.6 million is offered on a competitive basis through the NY-Sun Affordable Solar Predevelopment and Technical Assistance initiative. It will focus on solar projects that offer meaningful benefits to LMI customers and affordable housing providers, and demonstrate economically viable project models. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is administering the initiative.
“As New York State builds a clean, resilient, affordable energy system under Governor Cuomo, every resident must have an opportunity to participate,” said John B. Rhodes, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “Through partnerships in the community, this initiative will enable access to solar in locations with unique requirements and technical issues.”
Applications will be accepted through August 31, 2018 or until funds are exhausted. Individual project awards will not exceed $200,000. For more information on this funding opportunity, visit www.nyserda.ny.gov/ASPTA.
NY-Sun is Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar and move New York State closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. Since the start of 2012, megawatts of installed solar increased in New York by 750 percent. This has generated a significant increase in the number of solar-related jobs across the State. According to a national report announced earlier this year, New York’s solar industry is now the fourth largest in the nation and currently employs more than 8,250 workers, an increase of more than 3,000 jobs since 2013. Strong job growth is expected to continue as a result of the state’s robust solar project pipeline.
About Reforming the Energy Vision
Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York’s economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency, in part through the recent adoption of New York’s Clean Energy Standard that 50 percent of the state’s electricity coming from renewable energy sources by 2030. Already, REV has driven 600 percent growth in the statewide solar market, enabled over 105,000 low-income households to permanently cut their energy bills with energy efficiency, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors. REV is ensuring New York State reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and achieves the internationally-recognized target of reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050. To learn more about REV, including the Governor’s $5.3 billion investment in clean energy technology and innovation, please visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow us at @Rev4NY.