The board of trustees of the New York Power Authority (NYPA) has authorized a new solar energy initiative called the NY-Sun Solar Market Acceleration Program (Solar MAP).
The program will provide up to $30 million, over five years, for solar photovoltaic research, training and demonstration projects, with the goal of achieving cost reductions for wider use of solar energy. The program is part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's NY-Sun Initiative, announced during his 2012 State of the State address, which calls for expanding solar capacity in New York while lowering its cost to protect ratepayers.
Through competitive solicitations, Solar MAP will provide activities in three main areas: research for innovative solar technology, demonstration projects and soft-cost reduction strategies. Research efforts will support the development of innovative, cost-saving solar equipment including mounting racks, power inverters, monitoring devices and other system components.
Through Solar MAP, NYPA will engage the services of research institutions, technology development companies and technical consultants to provide research studies in connection with reducing solar equipment costs. In addition, Solar MAP will support collaboration between NYPA and the (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) NYSERDA to encourage research in connection with solar panel and balance-of-system cost reductions.
Solar demonstration projects will validate advanced, newly developed solar PV technology performance, system integration strategies, cost reductions and safety. Demonstration sites will also serve as technology laboratories and centers for training and education.
Solar soft-cost reduction strategies will consist of technical studies and analyses performed in close coordination with state and local entities and distribution utilities to standardize solar permitting and streamline solar grid integration. As part of this effort, solar training programs will be coordinated with local permitting authorities and fire departments.
NYPA will coordinate with NYSERDA and other industry stakeholders to develop program priorities, and share expertise and results. Collaboration will also be sought from federal energy entities and others to secure research dollars for New York.