Number of State-Supported Solar Projects in NYC Soaring
The number of solar power projects receiving support from the State of New York increased nearly 800 percent from the same period in 2011, officials say.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration has pledged to reduce the state’s fossil fuel reliance by 50 percent by 2030. Under Cuomo’s plan, 50 percent of the state’s energy use would come from renewable sources.
Residential solar projects are thriving, but there are challenges ahead
Per officials, solar energy projects are responsible for close to 744 megawatts, generated by installations put in place as far back as 2011. The power these fixtures generate can fuel more than 120,000 homes.
In response to the rapid growth of solar technology in New York, cities and towns statewide have passed temporary stays on further development. Municipal officials say they do not want to kill future solar energy projects, but rather wish to slow them down to allow localities time to update land use regulations.
Other cities and towns have opted out of a state law that would exempt solar panels from local tax assessments. Officials in those towns wish to capture the potential property tax revenue generated by the installations.
Future emphasis may be on community solar projects
State officials are expected to approve a rule designed to allow owners and tenants alike to subscribe to solar farms close to where they live. Those residents would purchase shares of the operation while remaining customers of their local power company.
Supporters of the change say it will allow solar power use to greatly increase in New York while continuing to give customers a choice in their power service.
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