New York state governor Andrew Cuomo has announced up to $52.5 million in funding to help accelerate the installation of solar energy projects in underserved and disadvantaged communities.
The funding will be dispersed through the state government’s new Inclusive Community Solar Adder programme designed to ensure access to clean and affordable energy amongst underserved communities, whilst accelerating the state’s clean energy and decarbonisation agenda.
New York has set a goal to ensure that at least 35% of its total investments in clean energy go to disadvantaged communities.
The funding will serve up to 50,000 New Yorkers by helping them to reduce their energy bills by 10% and incentives will be provided 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 new programme will be managed by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
Governor Cuomo said the new programme is part of the government’s efforts to ensure New York goes through “an equitable and Just Transition to a green economy.”
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, added: “Low-income communities face the greatest threats fromà‚ climateà‚ change.”
NYSERDA CEO Doreen M. Harris, said: “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.”
The announcement comes at a time community solar projects are playing a critical role in helping New York to move closer to its renewable energy and carbon emissions reductions target. In 2020, New York was named the nation’s leading community solar market.
Since 2011, the New York state government has committed $30 million to projects directly benefiting environmental justice and disadvantaged communities.à‚ In addition to more than 3GW of distributed solar installed statewide, 2.7GW of solar have been awarded NY-Sun incentives. These projects are now under development, most of which will come online in the next two years,à‚ with enough capacity to power an additional 477,000 homes.
Together, these projects will bring New York State to 95% of the 6GW target mandated in the Climate Act.