NY-Sun racking up solar MWs

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Under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's NY-Sun Initiative, $54 million has just been awarded for 79 large-scale solar energy projects across the state -- adding 64 MW to the state's solar capacity. The awards have been made to 20 recipients to finance the installations at businesses, factories, municipal buildings, colleges, and other larger commercial and industrial companies and institutions.

Caption: Omega Center for Sustainable Living, Rhinebeck, New York. Credit: OCSL

These awards have been made under the second of three rounds of the NY-Sun Competitive PV solicitation, which is a key component of New York's Renewable Portfolio Standard program. As a result of the NY-Sun initiative, more photovoltaic systems are being deployed in the state than in the prior decade.

Thanks to a steady decline in solar costs in the past two years, incentive amounts have been reduced, allowing for more projects to be awarded. In the past two years, the portfolio-weighted average incentive has dropped from $1.30 per watt to $0.93 per watt, then to $0.88 per watt. These awards represent a portfolio-weighted average incentive of $0.84 per watt, or about 31 percent of the cost to build these projects.

"With these major investments through the NY-Sun initiative, New York State is leading the nation in solar energy generation, addressing climate change and growing our clean energy economy," Governor Cuomo said in a statement. "Not only will these projects benefit our environment by reducing dependence on fossil fuels and using renewable energy, but they are also creating well-paying jobs for New Yorkers. These are necessary investments for a bright future in our state."

Although the projects are meant to produce power for on-site use and not for direct sale to utilities, unused power can be added to the grid in exchange for future utility credit under some circumstances.

Including these most recent awards, a total of 299 MW of PV has been installed or is under development as part of NY-Sun. Some projects may be on line by the end of this year, but most are expected to be completed in the first half of 2014.

Governor Cuomo has also proposed legislation to extend NY-Sun (currently funded through 2015) through 2023. The bill is pending.

For more:
- see this fact sheet

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