Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his 2012 State of the State address on Wednesday, outlining an ambitious plan to drive four-fold growth in New York’s solar market by next year.
“We have aggressively developed our hydroelectric resources and are making great progress in tapping our land-based wind resources. Now it is time to focus more attention on exploiting our solar potential,” the governor said.
Cuomo did not offer program specifics, but he noted that the new NY-Sun Initiative will be aimed at bolstering the state’s solar footprint, partly by expediting the procurement of commercial-scale projects. The governor also said he intends to expand rebate programs for small and midsize residential and commercial installations.
“In its first year, the NY-Sun Initiative will be capable of doubling the customer-sited photovoltaic capacity that was installed in 2011,” Cuomo said.
Carol Murphy, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY), tells Solar Industry that the state’s solar supply chain is well positioned to rise to the governor’s challenge. About 27 MW of capacity was installed in 2011, and ramping up to 100 MW or more per year within Cuomo’s short time frame is achievable.
She notes that New York has done fairly well bringing small residential systems into the mix via rebates, but the large commercial and industrial sectors are largely untapped – and present a ton of potential. The state’s net-metering rules were overhauled two years ago, and an important remote-net-metering measure recently went into effect. These developments have created a salubrious environment for multi-megawatt systems.
“Solar has started to take off, but we’ve only had rebates for a small amount,” she explains, noting that the new statewide, competitive procurement of large-scale systems will be a game-changer.
Excerpts from Solar Industry article by: Michael Bates 1/5/12