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NYSERDA announces Solar for All program to assist low income New Yorkers

March 8, 2019 11:34 am

ALBANY — The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) recently announced the “Solar For All” program, including four community solar projects in the Mid-Hudson region that have been awarded contracts as part of the program. This is the first in a series of awards under the program to provide access to no-cost community solar to 10,000 low-income New Yorkers. Increasing access to renewable energy for all New Yorkers is a cornerstone of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s clean energy agenda, and the announcement supports both the state’s goal of building three gigawatts of solar projects by 2023 and the Governor’s mandate for 50 percent of New York’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 to combat climate change.

As part of Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion NY-Sun program, Solar For All offers eligible low-income households the opportunity to subscribe to a community solar project in their area without any upfront costs or participation fees. By enabling consumers to subscribe to a local community solar project, these projects increase access to solar for homeowners and renters who may not have ideal conditions to install solar panels at their location. Energy is still delivered through their regular electric provider while the power produced from the community solar array is fed directly back to the electric grid. As a result, the grid is supplied with clean, renewable energy while subscribers get credit on their electric bills.

Solar for All projects selected in the first round will serve approximately 7,000 low income homeowners and renters who receive electric service from NYSEG, National Grid, Central Hudson, and Orange & Rockland. In addition to savings on participant electric bills, some of the selected projects have also committed to additional community benefits, including donations to local organizations serving families in need, educational programs for local schools, and committing additional project capacity to subscriptions for low-to-moderate income households. NYSERDA will launch a second round of the program in 2019, which will expand the number of households and areas served by the program.

The Solar for All contracts in the Mid-Hudson region were awarded to groups located in these towns:

n Town of Crawford (Mid-Hudson): Clearway Energy Group: Crans Mill is a 2.8 megawatt community solar project of which 1 megawatt will be used to provide no-cost solar subscriptions in Orange and Rockland’s utility territory.

n Town of Poughkeepsie (Mid-Hudson): Clearway Energy Group: Underhill is a 3.0 megawatt community solar project of which 1 megawatt will be used to provide no-cost solar subscriptions in Central Hudson’s utility territory.

n Town of Rochester (Mid-Hudson): Nexamp: Nexamp Rochester is a 5.6 megawatt community solar project of which 1 megawatt will be used to provide no-cost solar subscriptions in Central Hudson’s utility territory.

n Town of Thompson (Mid-Hudson): Delaware River Solar: Sackett Lake is a 2.8 megawatt community solar project of which 1 megawatt will be used to provide no-cost solar subscriptions in NYSEG’s utility territory in the Mohawk Valley region.

Eligibility for Solar for All is based on a resident’s location, household income, and annual electric usage. For more information on Solar for All eligibility and to sign up, contact your Cornell Cooperative Extension Community Energy Advisor at 845-677-8223.