LOUISVILLE, CO--(Marketwired - April 27, 2016) - The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), New York State Department of Public Service (DPS), EnterSolar and Clean Energy Collective (CEC) today announced that construction is underway on the first Shared Renewables community solar project in New York State.
This project advances the goals of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system by helping to make clean energy a possible choice for more residents. The success of REV depends on communities taking charge of their own energy as New York increases the growth of electricity generation at customer sites to supplement power generated at central power plants.
The announcement was made at the groundbreaking for the project today in Halfmoon. The Halfmoon Community Solar Project will feed solar energy to the grid operated by New York State Electric & Gas Corporation (NYSEG) and will allow more than 100 residential customers in NYSEG's Capital Region territory (parts of Columbia, Essex, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Washington counties), including low-income residents, to participate in local clean power generation and save money on their electricity bills. See list of eligible communities here.
Under the State's Shared Renewables Program, residents can purchase individual solar panels in the Halfmoon array and receive credit for the power production directly on their monthly electric bills, as if the panels were located on their own roof.
Proposed in Governor Cuomo's 2015 State of Opportunity Agenda, the Shared Renewables Program provides opportunities for renters, homeowners, low-income residents, schools and businesses to join together to set up shared renewable energy projects resulting in healthier and stronger communities. The Halfmoon project is specifically for renters, homeowners and low-income residents.
John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, "This first-in-the-State Shared Renewables solar project advances Governor Cuomo's energy goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure New Yorkers have access to clean, affordable, locally produced power. We congratulate these partners, who are providing this opportunity to residents who otherwise might not have solar as an option."
Audrey Zibelman, CEO, New York State Department of Public Service, said, "Governor Cuomo's Reforming the Energy Vision is focused on new private investment and local customer engagement in creating a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. Shared Renewables is just one of several REV initiatives that will expand consumer access to reliable, low-cost electricity, giving everyone -- from rural homeowners to apartment renters in the city -- an opportunity to share in the benefits of clean, solar power."
The Halfmoon project, which is expected to be completed by late summer, will feature a solar array of more than 1,700 panels on Cary Road in the Town of Halfmoon. EnterSolar is the project developer, and CEC is providing the community solar solution, called RooflessSolar, allowing residents to purchase panels in the array and receive credit for the power produced directly on their electric bills.
The solar installation will generate an estimated 741,230 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, the equivalent of powering 103 average-sized homes in New York. The solar panels will offset 210 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents annually, which is comparable to taking 44 cars off the road.
CEC is extending the value of the project to the local community by partnering with Affordable housing Partnership and earmarking 10 kilowatts of capacity to be assigned to five low-income families in NYSEG's Capital Region each year for 20 years.
Susan Cotner, Executive Director of Affordable Housing Partnership, said, "Helping low-income families save money on their electric bills while supporting local clean energy is a new and valuable tool in our mission to strengthen neighborhoods and help residents achieve financial independence. We are hopeful that, with Governor Cuomo's leadership, community solar can continue to help many more upstate residents in need of affordable energy solutions."
Paul Spencer, CEC Founder and CEO, said, "CEC is thrilled to introduce the first community solar project to New York. We know that community solar brings many positive impacts, more than just clean power and lower electric bills but an enhanced quality of life and regional and statewide economic growth. We look forward to many more projects to come."
Paul Ahern, President of EnterSolar, said, "EnterSolar could not be more proud to be part of this notable project for New York State. This partnership is a model not only for solar in New York, but nationwide."
The project received funding through Governor Cuomo's $1 billion NY- Sun initiative, which is designed to build a self-sustaining solar industry in New York and help achieve strategic energy goals under REV and the Clean Energy Standard, which requires that 50 percent of electricity generated in New York come from renewable sources by 2030. The New York Public Service Commission announced the state's Shared Renewables program last July, with the goal of giving all New Yorkers the ability to directly participate in and benefit from local clean energy projects.
Senator Joseph Griffo, Chair of the Senate Energy Committee, said: "I am pleased that groundbreaking has begun on New York's first community solar project in Halfmoon. Local clean power generation is an important component of New York's future clean energy generation portfolio. Our State is fortunate to have a broad variety of clean energy generation resources, and the Community Solar Project offers an opportunity for citizens of every income level to participate in clean solar energy generation if they so choose."
Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Energy, said, "The Halfmoon Community Solar Project is an exciting development for New York. Shared renewable projects like this one will attract additional investment to New York, while enabling consumers to purchase clean, renewable energy who would not otherwise be able to do so. I have strongly advocated for shared renewable projects, and am very pleased to see it become a reality today."
New York State Senator Kathy Marchione said, "Solar energy delivers on the promise of clean, renewable energy that positions our economy for a clean jobs future and strengthens our present quality of life. The Town of Halfmoon is a great place for families and a terrific location for New York's first shared renewables solar project. Once again, New York State, and the Town of Halfmoon, continue leading the way. I want to recognize the leadership of Governor Cuomo and NYSERDA for making this sustained commitment to New York's clean energy future. I also want to applaud the continued innovation of EnterSolar, the CEC and the Town of Halfmoon for making this project partnership a reality."
NYSEG customers interested in this program can visit www.Halfmoon.RooflessSolar.com or call (844) 232-7253.
For photos and videos, please visit http://bit.do/HalfmoonLaunch.
About NY- Sun From 2012 - 2015, New York has seen an increase of 575 percent in the amount of solar power installed and in development, which has also generated a significant increase in the number of solar-related jobs across the State. According to a national report announced in February, 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. In 2016, double-digit job growth is expected to continue with another 1,000 additional jobs created as a result of the state's robust solar project pipeline.
About Reforming the Energy Vision Reforming the Energy Vision is New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. REV is transforming New York's energy policy with new state-wide initiatives and regulatory reforms. REV will grow the state's clean energy economy, support innovation, ensure grid resilience, mobilize private capital, create new jobs, and increase choice and affordability for energy consumers. REV places clean, locally produced power at the core of New York's energy system. This protects the environment and supports the State's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent while generating 50 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. Successful initiatives already launched as part of REV include NY-Sun, NY Green Bank, NY Prize, K-Solar, and a commitment to improve energy affordability for low-income communities. To learn more about REV, visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow us @REV4NY.