New York Surpasses 2 Gigawatts in Community Solar

Solar panels MGN Image.

(WNY News Now) – Governor Kathy Hochul has proudly announced that New York State has achieved a significant milestone by installing over two gigawatts of community solar, solidifying its standing as the top community solar market in the United States.

New York – Governor Kathy Hochul declared a major accomplishment in New York’s renewable energy journey, revealing that the state has successfully implemented more than two gigawatts of community solar. This achievement underscores the state’s position as the foremost community solar market in the United States, contributing to the overall goal of transitioning to cleaner energy sources.

The two-gigawatt milestone in community solar translates into the capacity to power 393,000 homes, a substantial step towards realizing the targets set by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. This legislation aims to install six gigawatts of distributed solar by 2025, progressing towards an even more ambitious goal of 10 gigawatts by 2030.

Governor Hochul expressed her satisfaction with this accomplishment, stating, “New York’s two-gigawatt community solar achievement proves our commitment to building a clean and healthy future.” She emphasized the tangible benefits, including lower electric bills and positive environmental impacts, that thousands of New Yorkers are experiencing as a result of harnessing solar power.

Community solar has emerged as a pivotal tool in providing access to clean energy for homeowners, renters, and businesses that face constraints in directly installing solar panels. This model ensures that clean energy is seamlessly integrated into the existing electric grid, allowing subscribers to receive credits on their electric bills for their share of the solar system’s output.

In a notable statistic, community solar installations accounted for 61 percent of total solar installations across the state in the current year. Looking ahead, the distributed solar pipeline in New York comprises more than 8,700 projects, promising 3,297 megawatts of clean energy upon completion.

October witnessed the initiation of the second round of solicitations for the Inclusive Community Solar and Expanded Solar for All programs by NYSERDA. These programs aim to secure over 1,140 megawatts of community solar dedicated to low- and moderate-income households and disadvantaged communities.

New York’s success in community solar deployment is validated by the latest Wood Mackenzie Solar Market Insight quarterly report. The state leads the nation in installed community solar, holds the first position in 2023 for community solar installations, secures the second position in overall distributed solar, and ranks fifth for residential solar.

This achievement aligns with New York’s comprehensive climate agenda, which includes a transition to a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040 and a commitment to 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030. The state’s investments in renewable projects, building emissions reduction, solar scaling, and clean transportation initiatives demonstrate a proactive approach to achieving its climate goals. New York’s commitment to an orderly and just transition ensures that the benefits of clean energy investments reach disadvantaged communities, marking a key aspect of the state’s sustainable future.

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