Awards have been made to 28 recipients to finance 76 large-scale solar energy projects in 33 counties across the state. Installations will be located at businesses, factories, municipal buildings, and other large commercial and industrial companies, and are expected to be on-line by the end of this year.
The $46 million from New York State, awarded through a competitive program, leverages $100 million in private investment, resulting in $146 million in infrastructure projects.
“The NY-Sun initiative is driving the growth of solar energy systems that will help businesses and municipalities benefit from cost-effective, on-site electricity generation,” said Cuomo. “At the same time, it is building the state’s clean-energy economy and growing jobs, showcasing once again that New York is a leader in renewable energy and environmental stewardship.”
The NY-Sun Competitive PV Program, which provides incentives for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems larger than 50 kilowatts, is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Funding per project is capped at $3 million, and all projects require co-funding to best leverage state resources.
“Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative has been the catalyst for the unprecedented growth of solar power in the state,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., president and CEO, NYSERDA. Large projects such as these “highlight the fact that public-private partnerships are having a significant positive impact on the state’s ability to diversify its renewable energy portfolio, reduce demand on the electric grid, and stimulate economic activity.”
These awards are made under the first of three rounds of the Competitive PV solicitation. Second round proposals have been received, and proposals for the third round are due Aug. 29, 2013.
A steady decline in the cost to build solar PV projects since the Competitive PV Program’s launch in 2011 has enabled significant reductions to the incentives that are awarded. In 2011, the portfolio-weighted average incentive awarded was $1.30 per Watt, while in 2012 it had dropped to $0.93 per Watt. The latest awards represent a further decline to $0.88 per Watt, or about 30 percent of the cost to build these projects.
The projects are meant to produce power for on-site use, not for direct sale to utilities. Under certain circumstances, however, unused power can be added to the grid in exchange for future utility credit.
For more information on the NY-Sun initiative, visit www.ny-sun.ny.gov.
Publication date: 4/15/2013