ALBANY, N.Y. – New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a new framework Friday that will get the state to more than10 gigawatts (GW) of distributed solar power by 2030. This would be enough energy to power 700,000 average homes, and would bolster New York’s standing as a climate and clean energy leader.
Distributed solar refers to solar energy that is generated at or near the source where it’s used. The most common type is residential rooftop solar, but it can also include installations on commercial buildings and parking lots.
The governor’s initiative would expand the NY-Sun program, a public-private partnership with the goal of making solar more prevalent and more accessible for New Yorkers. This expansion is expected to create more than 6,000 new jobs in the state and spur $4.4 billion in new private investments.
Even before this announcement New York has been at the forefront of distributed and community solar development, prioritizing projects on residential rooftops, commercial buildings and parking lots. According to the governor’s statement: “In 2020, New York was ranked first in the nation in new community solar installations and second for total distributed solar installations.”
The plan is currently open for public comment. After that, the state’s Public Service Commission will make a decision on approval.
Environment New York Research & Policy Center Go Solar Associate Wade Wilson issued the following statement following the announcement:
“New York’s distributed solar framework is a great step toward a 100% renewable energy future. Distributed solar deserves a prominent role in New York’s energy future because it produces power close to where we use it and can sidestep the need for costly transmission projects. Solar on the built environment alone can’t meet all of New York’s energy needs, but it’s the best place to start. Gov. Hochul’s plan will help get more solar on the top of homes, at landfills and on roofs and parking lots of big box stores like Walmart throughout the state. Doing this is truly a bright idea.”