Con Edison eyes solar for homes, businesses

New York, NY, March 6, 2009 — Con Edison has filed a proposal with the Public Service Commission (PSC) for an 18-month solar energy pilot program encompassing homes, businesses, and the company’s own facilities, with the goal of generating 12 megawatts (MW) of solar electricity by 2011.

The pilot program will study potential impact of solar installations on the electric grid’s most heavily-used sections, explore cost and available funding for solar generation, and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and consumption of fossil fuels. The company also expects the program to yield insights about customer interest in solar, its potential impact on system operations, and to spur more expansive projects after results are evaluated.

The company views the proposed program as a first step in promoting a solar industry in New York. The effort would also be supported by complementary business development efforts, including New York’s semiconductor industry, other high tech sectors like software design, and research and development efforts underway at private companies and public universities. The company’s filing notes that the pilot is intended to provide a “jumpstart” for solar installations.

Stimulus appropriations, federal and New York City tax incentives, as well as New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) funds will be sought to defray the estimated $20-$25 million initial pilot program costs, based on expected responses.

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