Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces $52.5 million available for community solar projects serving disadvantaged communities

On July 20, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of the Inclusive Community Solar Adder program that makes $52.5 million available for community solar projects that support underserved New Yorkers and disadvantaged communities. Projects funded through the program are expected to serve up to 50,000 low-to-moderate income households, affordable housing providers and facilities serving disadvantaged communities, which will receive energy bill savings from the clean, renewable energy generated by community solar. Increasing access to solar energy for low-income residents supports Governor Cuomo’s goal to ensure that at least 35% with a goal of 40% of the benefits of clean energy investments go to disadvantaged communities as outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

“This administration is committed to expanding access to solar energy to all New Yorkers as we work to ensure an equitable and just transition to a green economy,” Governor Cuomo said.  “This program will provide the necessary support to bring forward solar projects in communities that are historically underserved and can gain the most from the health and environmental benefits and cost-savings.”

The Inclusive Community Solar Adder program, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, provides an additional incentive for NY-Sun community solar projects that dedicate at least 20% of their project to eligible low-to-moderate income households and disadvantaged communities. The program adder will increase access to community solar, help customers save at least 10% on their electric bills, and reduce operating costs for affordable housing and nonprofits serving disadvantaged communities. Bonus incentives will be awarded for projects sited in environmental justice communities burdened by conventional power generating facilities.

“As we build a more resilient grid, it’s of critical importance that we remove barriers and scale up access to clean, renewable energy resources for all New Yorkers. NYSERDA’s Inclusive Community Solar Adder program is unique in that it takes a two-pronged approach to increasing access to solar energy and cost savings by serving both families and affordable housing providers who support residents in disadvantaged communities,” said NYSERDA president and CEO Doreen M. Harris.

The program design was informed by a Request for Information issued by NYSERDA in December 2020, and by stakeholders who participated in a March 2021 webinar hosted by NYSERDA. Another webinar on the program will be held on July 28, 2021 from 1-2 p.m.

News item from NYSERDA

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