NYSERDA Announces Completion of State's First NY-Sun Community Shared Solar Project

More than three dozen residents come together and participate in new clean, affordable solar power project in Southern Tier Region
Complements Governor' Cuomo's Reforming the Energy Vision Strategy to Lead on Climate Change and Grow New York's Economy

October 18, 2016

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced the completion of New York State's first Shared Solar Project, which enables multiple residents to purchase solar panels in an off-site solar array and receive credit for the power the array produces on their individual monthly electric bills The completion of this shared solar projects helps New York achieve its goal for a 40 percent reduction from 1990 levels in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and meet the state's mandate for 50 percent of electricity come from renewable energy by 2030. 

The announcement was made at a ribbon-cutting event at the Renovus Solar array in the Southern Tier earlier today. Solar energy is a key component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers and to the Clean Energy Standard mandate that 50 percent of electricity used in the State come from renewable energy by 2030.

The project was designed, constructed and self-financed by Renovus Solar, an Ithaca, New York-owned and operated solar developer.

Three dozen residents in Tompkins, Steuben and Schuyler counties have purchased more than 1,100 solar panels in this project. The 359.1 kilowatt ground-mounted solar array is located in Trumansburg. The energy produced by the array is equivalent to the electricity needed to power approximately 60 average-sized homes. The project will reduce greenhouse gases by 220 metric tons annually, equivalent to taking approximately 50 cars off the road.

Energy & Finance for New York Chairman Richard Kauffman said, "We already know the Southern Tier is home to a thriving clean tech industry and now it can boast about leading the state with Governor Cuomo's community Shared Solar initiative -- a core component of REV. Completing this solar project is a testament to the community's commitment in securing a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy future for New Yorkers."

The Renovus Solar community shared solar project received funding through Governor Cuomo's NY-Sun initiative, which is building a self-sustaining solar industry in New York and helping achieve strategic energy goals under REV and the Clean Energy Standard. NYSERDA administers NY-Sun.

John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, "Governor Cuomo's vision for a cleaner energy system for all New Yorkers has taken a huge step forward today. We congratulate all of the partners for making this investment available to residents who otherwise would not have been able to participate in a clean and bill-reducing energy system." 

The New York State Department of Public Service (DPS) announced the state's Shared Renewables initiative last July, with the goal of providing opportunities for renters, homeowners, low-income residents, schools and businesses to join together to set up shared renewable energy projects resulting in healthier and stronger communities. Shared Solar is part of this initiative.

Audrey Zibelman, CEO of the New York State Department of Public Service, said, "The Farm to Table movement in New York is now being joined by 'Farm to Socket' with the introduction of Community Solar projects under Governor's Cuomo's Reforming the Energy Vision. The Renovus project is great example of how REV is bringing new and greater energy choices to consumers, including the opportunity to share in the benefits of clean, solar power."

From 2012 -2015, New York has seen an increase of 575 percent in the amount of solar power installed and in development, which has also generated a significant increase in the number of solar-related jobs across the State. According to a national report announced earlier this year, New York's solar industry is now the fourth largest in the nation and currently employs more than 8,250 workers, an increase of more than 3,000 jobs since 2013. In 2016, double-digit job growth is expected to continue with another 1,000 additional jobs created as a result of the state's robust solar project pipeline.

Photos of the solar array can be found here.

State Senator Tom O'Mara, Chairman of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said, "The ongoing research, development and utilization of renewable energy will be a central component of New York State's energy future which must include clean, affordable solar power. I'm extremely pleased that these residents across the 58th Senate District I represent in Tompkins, Schuyler and Steuben counties have undertaken New York's first, successful Shared Solar Project. With this critical state investment and support, these local residents are showing the way and demonstrating that these critical efforts can be achieved successfully."

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton said, "I am very happy that the first Community Shared Solar Project in New York is in Tompkins County. My constituents have long been leaders in furthering our renewable energy goals and technology, and have long recognized that Community Solar is an important step in providing renewables to more homes, businesses and institutions across the state. I applaud this project -- and hope to see many more like it -- in order to combat climate change as rapidly as possible."

Dennis A. Fagan, Chairman of the Schuyler County Legislature, said, "In August 2015, I installed a 10.5 kw solar system at my home, in Tyrone NY. Since then, virtually all my electrical energy needs are being met with my solar system. I fully endorse the Governor's NY-Sun initiative to increase solar usage throughout New York State."

Michael Lane, Chairman of the Tompkins County Legislature, said, "From rooftop to rooftop, from panel to panel, the people of Tompkins County and their neighbors are embracing the use of solar power. They know it is better for our environment because it is innovative, sustainable, and reduces fossil fuel usage. Our residents are proud to be a part of this extraordinary concept of shared solar power. Not only homeowners, but other energy consumers will now have an avenue to access solar energy to help meet their power needs and to strike a blow against global warming. Our Tompkins County Legislature congratulates NYSERDA and Renovus on this wonderful 21st Century project. We are sure it will serve as a fine example for even more such projects in the future."  

Joseph J. Hauryski, Chairman Steuben County Legislature, said, "This is great news! To see a group of citizens coming together to be a part of a shared solar project speaks volumes for our future energy needs. This will benefit all of us in the Southern Tier. "

Joe Sliker, President and CEO, Renovus Solar, said "The interconnection of this project is a landmark moment, not only for the dozens of local families who now have access to the many befits of solar power, but also for New York State as a whole. Community Shared Solar makes renewable energy possible for everyone; people whose homes and sites don't qualify for solar, renters, and even low and moderate income families who never thought solar was possible for them. These projects have the potential to be a cornerstone of REV, and we couldn't be more proud to be laying the tracks that will lead New York to a renewable energy future." 

About NY-Sun

NY-Sun is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's $1 billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar and move New York State closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. The growth of solar in the State has increased more than 300 percent from 2011 to 2014, twice the rate of U.S. solar growth overall. NY-Sun web site.

About Reforming the Energy Vision

Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York's economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency, in part through the recent adoption of New York's Clean Energy Standard which requires that 50% of the state's electricity needs be generated from renewable energy sources by 2030. Already, REV has driven 600% growth in the statewide solar market, enabled over 105,000 low-income households to permanently cut their energy bills with energy efficiency, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors. REV is ensuring New York State reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 and achieves the internationally-recognized target of reducing emissions 80% by 2050. To learn more about REV, including the Governor's $5.3 billion investment in clean energy technology and innovation, please visit  www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow us at @Rev4NY.

About NYSERDA

NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and support to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA's programs, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.

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