The largest rooftop solar project in New York State is now complete, says New York Gov. Kathy Hochul. Located in Orange County atop a building owned by Medline Industries, the nation’s largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of medical products, the 7.2 MW community solar project is helping to reduce energy costs for both the company and residents in the Mid-Hudson region.
“New York continues to be an example to other states with our aggressive development of renewable energy, and our commitment to clean, affordable solar is key to us successfully building a zero-emission electricity grid,” Hochul says. “The completion of this project marks another major milestone in the Empire State and reflects a successful trend of private investment in community-centered projects that are now at the heart of our clean energy transition.”
Comprising more than 17,000 panels, the community solar project generates 8.5 million kWh of power annually. It also brings New York another step closer to its goal of installing 6 GW of distributed solar by 2025 and accelerates its progress toward 10 GW by 2030.
The over $8 million project, sited in the Town of Montgomery, was built with nearly $5 million in private investment from the developer, PowerFlex – a national provider of solar, storage, and electric vehicle charging solutions for commercial customers – and is now owned by Medline Industries.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) provided more than $3 million in project support through NY-Sun, the state’s initiative to advance the scale-up of solar while driving costs down and making solar energy more accessible to homes, businesses and communities.
“Sustainable sources of power are one of the key factors propelling us into a future of environmentally conscious economic development,” says Hope Knight, CEO and president, Empire State Development. “With this project, we are proven front-runners in clean energy and are demonstrating that bold partnerships between private and community stakeholders lead to unparalleled success in New York State.”
Medline’s distribution center, which opened in August 2022, employs more than 700 people. The facility will utilize 40% of the energy generated by the solar project, leaving 60% available for approximately 600 residents, who can subscribe to the system and receive credits on their electricity bill for an estimated 10% monthly savings. In exchange for a commitment to retain 344 and create 266 new jobs, Empire State Development awarded Medline up to $10 million in Excelsior Jobs Tax Credits.
In New York state, there are currently over 4,600 MW of distributed solar in operation, with nearly 3,500 MW in late-stage development moving toward completion. In 2022, New York became the top community solar market in the United States, providing nearly half of the nation’s community solar capacity.