Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that $54 million in government funds will support solar projects throughout New York, as the state continues its commitment to a low carbon future.
New York is known for more than just its sprawling metropolis. The natural beauty of its extensive pine forests, lakes, and coast line make its environmental future certainly something that residents have fought for through their commitment to renewable energy, and it is becoming clear that the state legislature is listening. On July 9th, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the state will provide over $50 million in government funds to finance the addition of 64 megawatts of solar power operating at peak capacity throughout the state. The funds are a part of the NY-Sun initiative, and are being distributed by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
New York's solar commitment
New York has seen a recent commitment to solar energy as it works to combat global climate change, while at the same time working to reduce the cost of energy prices. In his announcement, Governor Cuomo explained that the investment in solar goes beyond just helping the state reduce carbon emissions.
"Not only will these projects benefit our environment by reducing dependence on fossil fuels and using renewable energy, but they are also creating well-paying jobs for New Yorkers. These are necessary investments for a bright future in our state."
Renewable Energy Long Island also recently published a report explaining that the island could become 100 percent independent of fossil fuel. Through various solar and other renewable energy projects, the study believes that it could run entirely on carbon free electricity by 2030.
Solar for residents and small businesses
There were 60 megawatts of solar electric capacity installed in New York last year as $257 million was invested in solar installations for homes and businesses, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. The state currently ranks 12th in the U.S. in cumulative solar energy installed, bringing power to 27,800 homes. Residential and small business solar is expanding as prices for solar energy decrease. The price of an average New York residential solar installation fell last year by 17 percent, beating the national average for residential solar installations.
Part of this growing ease in solar installations is being fueled by state initiatives encouraging solar installations. On Long Island, new leasing agreements are available to homeowners and small businesses that wish to install solar panels on their roofs, while income tax credits and rebate programs are offered on a state wide level.