The first community solar + storage project in New York was completed and is expected to reduce the energy costs for approximately 150 households in Westchester County and New York City and provide power to 12 Tesla electric vehicle supercharging stations.
“New York remains unwavering in our commitment to developing renewable energy resources that will grow our clean energy economy and advance our nation-leading plan to fight climate change,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “This first-of-its-kind project in New York combines renewable energy and energy storage that together will deliver reliable, affordable and sustainable energy creating a model for communities around the state.”
The 557-kilowatt rooftop solar project is comprised of nearly 1,500 panels and paired with 490-kilowatt four-hour Tesla Powerpack lithium-ion batteries. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who announced the project completion at a ribbon cutting event in Yorktown Heights.
“This announcement of the first completed community solar paired with energy storage project marks another major renewable energy milestone in New York,” Hochul said. “IPPsolar and Urstadt Biddle Properties had the vision and commitment to make this project a reality, and will serve as an example to other commercial properties that these projects can provide clean, affordable energy for years to come. We are proud in New York to lead the way with our commitment and efforts to combat climate change and build back better, cleaner and greener for future generations.”
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), through its NY-Sun and Retail Energy Storage programs, provided nearly $800,000 in support of the community solar + storage project. It was installed IPPsolar, and is owned and operated by Urstadt Biddle Properties.
“Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, community solar is becoming an increasingly popular option for New Yorkers across the state as it allows those who have challenges hosting their own solar installations to still participate and receive the benefits of clean energy through a community-based option,” said Doreen M. Harris, acting president and CEO, NYSERDA. “This first community solar project paired with energy storage also provides a system that allows for the clean energy produced to be used where and when the electric grid needs it the most.”
Community solar offers households the opportunity to benefit from a solar project in their area often without any upfront costs or participation fees. These projects increase access to solar for homeowners and renters who may not have ideal conditions to install solar panels at their household.
Energy is still delivered to participants through their regular electricity provider while the power produced from the community solar project is fed directly into the electric grid. As a result, the grid is supplied with clean, renewable energy and the participants receive credit for this power through their electric bills.
NYSERDA’s Retail Energy Storage Incentive program provides commercial customers funding for standalone, grid-connected energy storage or systems paired with new or existing clean, on-site generation, such as solar. There are currently 50 community solar projects paired with energy storage across the state in NYSERDA’s project pipeline which are expected to be installed in the next two to three years.
NY-Sun is Cuomo’s initiative to advance the scale-up of solar and move the state closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. Since 2011, solar in New York State has increased nearly 1,800%, leveraged nearly $4 billion in private investments and decreased the cost of solar by nearly 60%.
In May, the New York Public Service Commission approved a $573 million expansion of the NY-Sun Program, including a total of $200 million to support activities and project investments focused on low- and moderate-income New Yorkers, affordable housing, environmental justice and disadvantaged communities. Businesses and organizations interested in learning more about solar energy can visit the NY-Sun website .
“Westchester County’s — and the world’s — energy future depends on the utilization of innovative and clean renewable sources,” said George Latimer, county executive. “This program led by Gov. Cuomo helps advance these new sources from mere ideas toward the new climate reality we must leave for future generations. The community solar program will provide cheaper and more efficient alternatives for Westchester residents for a more sustainable tomorrow.”
News item from NYSERDA