Ecogy Energy, a developer, financier and owner-operator, says it is securing preliminary agreements with the first municipality in a series of upcoming projects that were selected through a competitive request for proposals from the New York Power Authority (NYPA) under the Westchester Community Solar Partnership (WCSP).
Ecogy has obtained approvals for a Con Edison interconnection and incentives from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
Sustainable Westchester, a nonprofit consortium of Westchester County local governments, is the designated community solar acquisition provider for the WCSP and will collaborate with Ecogy to enroll local residents, with a focus on affordable housing communities and low-to-moderate income (LMI) individuals. By prioritizing these groups in the development plans, NYPA, Westchester County, Ecogy and Sustainable Westchester are making large strides toward supporting environmental justice and directing benefits to historically underserved and overlooked communities.
Community distributed generation (CDG) projects help governments and schools support renewable energy developments that benefit their communities and dismantle the inequitable distribution of renewable energy that can occur, redirecting the benefits to those who may not have the space, time, financial resources, or development experience to logistically support their own solar PV system. The WCSP will enable surrounding communities to access clean energy with a simple subscription process, no cost to sign up, no cancellation fees, and a guaranteed discount for subscribers of up to 10% on earned solar credits while offering site lease payments to those municipalities hosting the solar arrays.
The massive shift to clean energy for New York requires exactly the kind of public-private-nonprofit partnership that this project represents. Such collaborations help educate residents about the benefits of community solar, subscribe to community solar projects, and earn long-term savings from renewable energy.
To finance the project, Ecogy intends to utilize N.Y.’s Value of Distributed Energy Resources (VDER) and the NYSERDA NY-Sun Incentive Program, a state initiative offering cash incentives and/or financing for the deployment of qualified solar projects to drive growth in the solar industry. The program is helping New York State advance its Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) implementation targets of 10,000 MW of distributed solar PV and 70% renewable energy by 2030.
Ecogy is building upon its history of leadership in Westchester County, which includes the first community solar projects in Yorktown, Croton-on-Hudson and Ossining, and the largest solar canopy system in Westchester County with the Maryknoll Society. Sustainable Westchester worked with Ecogy to enroll community members in the Maryknoll Community Solar farm.
In coordination with the portfolio of projects, Ecogy plans to install its energy monitoring device, the Econode, which will allow every site to benchmark consumption to further drive efficiency through data-driven results and second-by-second analysis. All projects will have their data accessible, not only to municipalities and subscribers, but also to NYPA’s energy management platform, the New York Energy Manager (NYEM), helping to grow the data pool used to improve energy efficiency statewide.