During Climate Week Governor Cuomo Announces First Completed Community Solar Plus Energy Storage Project in New York
Project in Westchester County to Reduce Energy Costs for Approximately 150 Westchester County and New York City Households and Will Help Power Tesla Electric Vehicle Supercharging Stations
September 21, 2020
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of the first community solar paired with energy storage project in New York. The milestone project will reduce the energy costs for approximately 150 households in Westchester County and New York City as well as provide power to 12 Tesla electric vehicle supercharging stations. Today's announcement supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's goals to install 6,000 megawatts of solar by 2025 and 3,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030, as called for in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
"New York remains unwavering in our commitment to developing renewable energy resources that will grow our clean energy economy and advance our nation-leading plan to fight climate change," Governor Cuomo said. "This first-of-its-kind project in New York combines renewable energy and energy storage that together will deliver reliable, affordable and sustainable energy creating a model for communities around the state."
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who made today's announcement at a ribbon cutting event in Yorktown Heights, Westchester County, said, "This announcement of the first completed community solar paired with energy storage project marks another major renewable energy milestone in New York. IPPsolar and Urstadt Biddle Properties had the vision and commitment to make this project a reality, and will serve as an example to other commercial properties that these projects can provide clean, affordable energy for years to come. We are proud in New York to lead the way with our commitment and efforts to combat climate change and build back better, cleaner and greener for future generations." v
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), through its NY-Sun and Retail Energy Storage programs, provided nearly $800,000 in support of the community solar-plus-energy storage project, which is expected to provide participants with approximately 10 percent savings on their monthly electricity bills for 25 years, as well as provide power to Tesla's electric vehicle charging stations.
Installed by IPPsolar LLC, and owned and operated by Urstadt Biddle Properties Inc., the 557-kilowatt rooftop solar project is comprised of nearly 1,500 panels and paired with 490-kilowatt four-hour Tesla Powerpack lithium-ion batteries.
Doreen M. Harris, Acting President and CEO, NYSERDA said, "Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, community solar is becoming an increasingly popular option for New Yorkers across the state as it allows those who have challenges hosting their own solar installations to still participate and receive the benefits of clean energy through a community-based option. This first community solar project paired with energy storage also provides a system that allows for the clean energy produced to be used where and when the electric grid needs it the most."
Paul Jeun, Co-Founder, IPPsolar said, "IPPsolar and the center's owner, Urstadt Biddle Properties, are excited to announce the completion of the Yorktown project to advance community solar and energy storage in New York. We also want to thank the Town of Yorktown for their steadfast support and NYSERDA for providing expert technical assistance that were essential to advancing a first-impression project like this. Beginning with IPP solar's first New York solar installation in 2013 at another UBP-owned center, we have completed numerous installations in New York, and this latest project serves to demonstrate our abiding commitment to pursue clean energy initiatives. And with the success of this project, we are excited at the prospect of deploying more projects to help meet Governor Cuomo's ambitious climate goals."
Community solar offers households the opportunity to benefit from a solar project in their area often without any upfront costs or participation fees. These projects increase access to solar for homeowners and renters who may not have ideal conditions to install solar panels at their household. Energy is still delivered to participants through their regular electricity provider while the power produced from the community solar project is fed directly into the electric grid. As a result, the grid is supplied with clean, renewable energy and the participants receive credit for this power through their electric bills.
NYSERDA's Retail Energy Storage Incentive program provides commercial customers funding for standalone, grid-connected energy storage or systems paired with new or existing clean, on-site generation, such as solar. There are currently 50 community solar projects paired with energy storage across the state in NYSERDA's project pipeline which are expected to be installed in the next two to three years. The energy storage systems store solar energy in the morning and discharge the energy to the grid in the late afternoon and evening hours, when power needs and grid stress are greatest. Additionally, in the event of a grid outage, these systems can isolate from utility equipment in order to operate as a micro-grid and provide power to critical load until grid functions are restored. For more information about NYSERDA's energy storage incentive programs, visit NYSERDA's energy storage website.
NY-Sun is Governor Cuomo's signature initiative to advance the scale-up solar and move the state closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. Since 2011, solar in New York State has increased nearly 1,800 percent, leveraged nearly $4 billion in private investments and decreased the cost of solar by nearly 60 percent. In May, the New York Public Service Commission approved a $573 million expansion of the NY-Sun Program, including a total of $200 million to support activities and project investments focused on low- and moderate-income New Yorkers, affordable housing, environmental justice and disadvantaged communities. Businesses and organizations interested in learning more about solar energy can visit the NY-Sun website.
County Executive George Latimer said, "Westchester County's - and the world's - energy future depends on the utilization of innovative and clean renewable sources. This program led by Governor Cuomo helps advance these new sources from mere ideas toward the new climate reality we must leave for future generations. The Community solar program will provide cheaper and more efficient alternatives for Westchester residents for a more sustainable tomorrow."
Shyam Mehta, Executive Director, New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA) said, "As a dispatchable renewable generation resource providing equitable, affordable access to clean energy for New York residents, the pairing of energy storage with Community Solar represents an important milestone in New York's clean energy transformation. Equally important to note is that this project is far from a one-off. Many, many more Community Solar projects paired with energy storage will be deployed in the coming months and years, demonstrating the successful scale-up of distributed solar and storage in line with New York's CLCPA-mandated decarbonization targets under Governor Cuomo's and NYSERDA's leadership, and with thousands of clean energy jobs generated as a result."
New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan
Governor Cuomo's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieving its mandated goal of a zero-emissions electricity sector by 2040, including 70% renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including a $3.9 billion investment in 67 large-scale renewable projects across the state, the creation of more than 150,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector, a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035, and 1,800 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments benefit disadvantaged communities, and advancing progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 TBtus.