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Thu04242014

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N.Y. Governor awards $46 million for 52 MW solar projects

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has awarded $46 million to large-scale solar power projects in 33 counties across the state.

Under the N.Y.-Sun Competitive P.V. Program, funding has been given to 28 recipients to develop 76 solar facilities with an overall generating capacity of 52 megawatts – enough to provide clean electricity for about 9,000 New York households.

According to the state government, the $46 million grant helps leverage $100 million in private investment, paving the way for $146 million worth of infrastructure projects.

The N.Y.-Sun Competitive P.V. Program provides incentives for photovoltaic systems having more than 50 kilowatts of capacity. Funding per large scale project is limited to $3 million, and all projects entail co-funding to best leverage state resources.

Installations will be sited at businesses, factories, municipal buildings and other larger commercial and industrial companies and are expected to be operational by the end of 2013. These projects are intended to generate power for on-site purposes, not for direct sale to utilities. Under specific conditions, however, unexploited power can be fed to the grid in trade for future utility credit.

The program is part of the larger N.Y.-Sun initiative which aims to promote private and public partnerships in New York to make installing solar technology more affordable. The current solar program is investing $800 million through 2015, but Governor Cuomo in his 2013 State of the State address called for the extension of the yearly funding up to 2023.

“The N.Y.-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 Governor 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,” he added.

The latest awards are made through the first three rounds of the Competitive P.V. solicitation, a key driver of the New York’s Renewable Portfolio Standard program. The next round of proposals has received while proposals for the third round are due this coming August 29.

Apart from the Competitive P.V. program, the N.Y.-Sun Initiative also offers a small-scale solar P.V. program for systems up to 7 kW for residential locations and up to 50 kW for non-residential locations. Funding per project is capped at $3.1 million per month in 2013.

Launched in April 2012, Governor Cuomo’s N.Y.-Sun Initiative is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority together with Long Island Power Authority and the New York Power Authority. It has already brought more than 58 MW of solar P.V. to the state, nearly doubling the amount of customer-sited P.V. installed in 2011.

Including the recent grants, New York now has a cumulative capacity of 242 MW of P.V. installations under N.Y.-Sun. By the end of this year, the initiative targets to add a total of 120 MW.

New York state is ranked 10th in the U.S. for new solar capacity installations last year, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight report of the Solar Energy Industries Association. – C. Dominguez



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