Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., plans to extend and expand the NY-Sun initiative, a state-wide solar energy program that he introduced last April. In his newly released 2013 state agenda, Cuomo also detailed a series of additional steps designed to make New York ‘the leader in the cleantech economy.’
Under the governor's plan, NY-Sun will be expanded at $150 million annually for 10 years. He has also introduced a $1 billion ‘green bank’ to combine public and private funding, as well as named an energy czar to his cabinet.
Richard Kauffman, a senior advisor to the nation's Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, will ‘coordinate the state's cleantech agenda and oversee the state government's energy portfolio,’ Cuomo says.
Cuomo's continued focus on solar and other forms of renewable energy drew praise from advocacy groups, including the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY).
‘The governor's proposal to create a green bank is an innovative approach to spurring greater investment in clean energy, and we look forward to working with the Cuomo administration on its successful development,’ said Valerie Strauss, interim executive director of ACE NY, in a statement.
‘Now is the time to extend and expand the state's renewable portfolio standard, including solar power and onshore and offshore wind energy, and we hope to see the Green Bank and all of New York's clean energy programs complement and enhance one another in a way that facilitates full development of our renewable resources,’ she added.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) applauded Cuomo for expanding NY-Sun, which is aimed at quadrupling the amount of customer-sited solar in New York and attracting developers.
‘Today's announcement shows New York state is making tremendous strides in its commitment to expanding solar deployment and growing its clean energy economy,’ said Carrie Cullen Hitt, senior vice president for state affairs at SEIA, in a statement.
New York is currently ranked 12th among states in terms of installed solar capacity, according to SEIA's latest U.S. Solar Market Insight report.