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Could New York Soon Become a Solar Front-Runner?

Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his 2012 State of the State address on Wednesday, January 4, 2012, outlining an ambitious plan to drive four-fold growth in New York’s solar market by next year. Known as the NY-Sun Initiative, this campaign  will be aimed at bolstering the state’s solar footprint, partly by expediting the procurement of commercial-scale projects, according to Solar Industry Magazine. The governor also said he intends to expand rebate programs for small and mid-size residential and commercial installations.

According to Cuomo, “in its first year, the NY-Sun Initiative will be capable of doubling the customer-sited photovoltaic capacity that was installed in 2011.” With this increased focus on solar, New York could soon become a solar frontrunner for the industry.

This plan will also help create thousands of jobs, while generating billions of dollars in economic growth and strengthening New York’s legacy as one of the post progressive cities in the nation.

Two of Cuomo’s proposals showed the most promise to help bring New York solar to the top:

  1. An “Energy Highway” System to Power New York’s Growth: To ensure a cost efficient and reliable supply of power is available to fuel the state’s economic growth, the Governor announced a plan to build a private sector funded $2 billion “Energy Highway” system that will tap into the generation capacity and renewable energy potential in Upstate and Western NY to bring low-cost power to meet the tremendous energy needs in Downstate New York. The plan also calls for the repowering of old and dirty plants to stop pollution in urban neighborhoods.
  2. Invest in Solar While Protecting Ratepayers: Noting that New York is a national leader in cost-effective, renewable energy production, Governor Cuomo announced that his administration will launch the NY-Sun Initiative to expand solar energy production in the state while keeping costs under control to protect the taxpayers. Sun will help increase competitive procurement of large, commercial-sized solar projects and expand rebate programs for residential and commercial small-to-medium systems. The program will strengthen the state’s energy sector, and is designed to quadruple annual development of solar by 2013.  

For more info on this initiative see the SolarIndustryMag.

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