New York Streamlining Solar Permit Process


The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), New York Power Authority (NYPA) and City University of New York (CUNY) have developed a unified solar permit for New York State that aims to reduce costs for solar projects by streamlining municipal permitting processes. The unified solar permit is part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's NY-Sun initiative.

NYSERDA and NYPA provided funding to CUNY to survey municipal officials to understand the photovoltaic permitting costs, procedures and issues, as well as to develop the permit. The standardized permit is expected to cut costs by creating a uniform permitting process in municipalities across the state. NYSERDA says work to chart the current permit processes involved feedback from municipalities, the New York Conference of Mayors, the Association of Towns of the State of New York, utility companies, PV installers and other stakeholders.

‘NYPA, through close coordination with NYSERDA, CUNY and Governor Cuomo, has worked diligently to advance the NY-Sun initiative,’ says President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones. ‘The growth of the renewable energy market is a major priority of the governor, and we look forward to additional steps, such as NYPA and NYSERDA's current push to streamline permitting for even larger commercial solar electric systems.’

Municipalities that adopt the unified permit and procedures are eligible for between $2,500 and $5,000, depending on population, through NYSERDA's Cleaner, Greener Communities program to implement the new procedures. Applications will be accepted until Sept. 30, 2014, or until funds are exhausted.

In August, the California's East Bay Green Corridor introduced a series of initiatives intended to streamline the permitting process for residential solar installations in the region's nine cities. The organization worked with the state government, area installers and engineering firms with the U.S. Department of Energy funding to produce the permitting process and documentation.

A copy of the New York unified solar permit and procedures is available here.

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