New York launches new framework for distributed solar

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New York is aiming to reach a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040. Image: Con Edison.

New York’s State Public Service Commission has approved a new framework for distributed solar in the state that will expand its NY-Sun initiative, which aims to support 10GW of distributed solar by 2030.

The recently approved new roadmap includes support for 1.6GW of solar capacity for disadvantaged communities with low-to-moderate income, with an estimated US$600 million investment; at least 450MW of solar power within the Con Edison electric service area, which covers New York and parts of Westchester, increasing its solar capacity to over 1GW and 560MW or more would be installed through the Long Island Power Authority.

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A new requirement has also been added to the NY-Sun framework stipulating that for projects greater than 1MW in size, workers associated with the project’s construction must be paid the applicable prevailing wage.

The total investment is expected to be US$5.9 billion over mid-to-late of this decade, with US$4.4 billion coming from private investments while the remaining US$1.5 billion investment will be in ratepayer-funded incentives that will extend the NY-Sun programme.

Around 6,000 additional solar jobs are expected to be created in the state.

The expansion of the programme will see disadvantaged communities with low-to-moderate income delivered 35% of the benefits from the investments, with a goal of 40%.

Kathy Hochul, governor of New York, said: “This roadmap to expand the NY-Sun initiative into a nation-leading blueprint for the development of distributed solar meets the moment to supercharge our economy and advance our climate goals.”

The roadmap estimated the extension of the NY-Sun initiative offered the most efficient and cost-effective solution to deploy 10GW of distributed solar by 2030.

Furthermore, it is expected the expansion of NY-Sun will increase the bill by less than one percent, to US$0.71 per month on average.

Last December, Hochul unveiled its framework with a 4GW expansion to its initial proposal of reaching 6GW by 2025 that was nearly achieved at the time, as the state plans to reach 70% of renewable energy by 2030.

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