Governor Announces Solar Energy Project for New York

Governor Paterson recently announced a project that would dramatically increase the production of solar energy across New York State.  Photovoltaic (PV) systems that could produce a total of 100 megawatts will be made available to a wide array of public institutions through a proposal process with the New York Power Authority (see full text below).  This is surely exciting news for proponents of alternative energy in the Empire State, but the folks here at the Institute are wondering what it could mean for NYC.  We’ll be keeping our ears open for news as it comes in and pay particular attention to potential projects within CUNY schools.

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) issued a request for proposals (RFP) seeking a public-private partnership for the installation of up to 100 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic (PV) systems across the State, including roof-mounted and ground-mounted solar arrays. Facilities will be installed primarily at schools, public universities and colleges, State and local government facilities, municipal electric utilities and rural electric cooperatives. This initiative will boost the State’s growing solar industry, create clean energy jobs and support efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of State and local public facilities by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 45,000 tons per year. When fully installed, this project will be the largest solar initiative in State history and will generate the equivalent of powering approximately 15,000 homes.

President and Chief Executive Officer of NYPA Richard M. Kessel said: “Through this solar initiative, the New York Power Authority is working toward Governor Paterson’s ‘45 by 15’ goal and helping to build the solar industry in New York State. This initiative will advance the development of the solar industry and clean energy jobs throughout the State, and will help diversify our energy sources and incorporate green power educational opportunities for our schools.”

In addition to providing clean power to host facilities, the initiative will include the development of large scale, “Community Solar” projects that will connect to the distribution systems of municipal utilities and rural electric cooperatives. Community Solar projects utilize available space to generate power for electric distribution grids rather than a single host site. Renewable energy can then be transmitted to any loads connected to the grid. These large scale projects can reduce costs by providing relief for electric grids nearing their capacity and avoiding expensive facility upgrades.

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