Gov. Cuomo’s NY-Sun Competitive Solar Program completes first phase

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s NY-Sun Competitive PV Program is drawing participation from New York energy customers and solar energy developers.

In a successful first round, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) awarded $46 million for 76 large-scale projects totaling 52 MW of new solar power capacity, enough to power nearly 9,000 New York homes.

Solar energy advocates and industry applauded the early results of the program and the state’s continued commitment to bringing reliable clean power and local solar energy jobs to New York.

The NY-Sun Competitive PV Program delivers affordable solar power to larger energy consumers, including businesses, public buildings and factories. The $46 million from New York State will leverage $100 million in private investment. It is the first of three Competitive PV Program award rounds planned this year.

The program is part of the NY-Sun Initiative, a public-private partnership designed to drive growth in the state’s solar industry and lower solar costs for all New Yorkers. The program will quadruple the amount of customer-sited solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity added between 2011 and 2013. In this year’s State of the State address, Gov. Cuomo committed to extending the NY-Sun Initiative through 2023.

The announcement from Gov. Cuomo also notes that a steady decline in the cost to build solar PV projects since the Competitive PV Program’s launch has enabled significant reductions to the incentives that are awarded. In 2011, the portfolio-weighted average incentive awarded was $1.30 per Watt, while in 2012 it had dropped to $0.93 per Watt. Today’s awards represent a further decline to $0.88 per Watt, or about 30 percent of the cost to build these projects.

New York State ranked 10th in the nation for new solar capacity installed in 2012, according to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight report. There are about 3,300 solar professionals working at 338 companies in New York.

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