Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

The goal of this initiative is to achieve measurable improvements in market conditions for rooftop photovoltaic, with an emphasis on streamlining permitting and interconnection processes.(30284)

Research Foundation of The City


New York City has seen an eight-fold increase in solar capacity since the NYC Solar America City Partnership, led by the City University of New York (CUNY), began to implement the NYC solar plan in 2007. In CUNY’s ‘NYC Solar Energy Future 2011’ key findings determined that in order to enable the solar market and continue to grow the economy and capture NYC’s full solar potential, the non-hardware ‘Balance of System’ (BOS) costs for rooftop installations must be addressed. In August 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) selected a proposal from CUNY on behalf of NYC under its SunShot Initiative as part of its ‘Solar Rooftop Challenge’. The CUNY proposal included efforts associated with Solar Market Analytics, Roadmapping, and Tracking NY (SMART NY). SMART NY presents a strategic, replicable plan to systematically address the BOS challenges in America’s largest city of one million rooftops in Phase 1, with statewide expansion in Phase 2. SMART NY is supported by 29 organizations representing utility companies, installers, government agencies, and industry leaders. Phase 1 began on February 15, 2012 and is a one year ‘race to the rooftop’ challenge. Phase 2 will expand the effort statewide, contingent on the DOE funding Phase 2. This Phase 1a effort will jumpstart and expand Phase 2 efforts and provide good information on upstate communities that could benefit greatly through targeted attention on BOS issues.

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Project Description

The goal of the CUNY Solar Market Analytics, Roadmapping, and SMART NY initiative is to achieve measurable improvements in costs and market conditions for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. The information gathered through this Phase 1a will also provide an opportunity for the team to optimize Phase 2 tasks if awarded by the DOE. Moreover, this work will signal to the DOE New York's commitment to the SMART NY plan, helping to ensure second phase DOE funding aimed at reducing the BOS costs in the New York Solar market. This Phase 1a effort will perform the following tasks: - Develop a detailed work plan for the effort and hire an upstate Solar Ombudsman to facilitate upstate efforts. - Develop key indicators that will be analyzed to determine which communities should be targeted. - Develop an abbreviated and possibly more targeted survey mechanism based on the SunShot survey provided by the DOE and used in the Phase 1 DOE effort. - Implement the survey and follow up as necessary. - Use survey results to benchmark and evaluate solar market maturity across the State, determine which jurisdictions to focus on for greatest impact, and determine which best practices will be most effective for reducing BOS costs. - Develop an approach to reducing BOS costs across the State that will form the plan for Phase 2 work.


This project will result in valuable information regarding permitting and other BOS costs and timelines in upstate New York communities. The information will be useful in devising programs and plans to address these PV BOS challenges.

Project Results


Research Foundation of The City
University of New York 230 W 41st St., 7th Fl
New York, NY 10036

Principle Investigator

Tria Case

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Research Study

Technologies Types:

Energy Power Supply

NYSERDA Contact Information

Jennifer Harvey


R&D -Transport & Power Systems

Contract Details

Start Date: 3/21/2013
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: 30284

Last Updated: 11/19/2012