NYSEIA Pushing for 20 GW of Distributed Solar by 2035


The New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA) has released “20 Gigawatts by 2035: Raising New York’s Distributed Solar Goal,” a policy report that calls on New York state lawmakers to raise the state’s distributed solar goal to 20 GW by 2035.

Under New York’s current climate and energy transition plan, the state aims to install 10 GW by 2030.

The roadmap outlines a plan of action to double down on one of the bright spots in New York’s renewable energy transition: distributed solar. Consisting of rooftop installations on homes and businesses and small-scale ground-mounted projects in local communities, distributed solar represents more than 90% of the state’s current solar capacity. New York added more than 800 MW of distributed solar capacity last year alone and is on track to surpass 6 GW by the end of 2024, one year ahead of schedule.

“As New York struggles to meet its ambitious renewable energy mandates, legislative leaders and regulators must take decisive action,” says Noah Ginsburg, executive director of NYSEIA. “Scaling up distributed solar deployment will deliver cost-effective progress toward New York’s overall climate goals while delivering immense benefits to New York’s environment, economy, and working families.”

As the roadmap outlines, solar deployment in New York has been growing at a rapid rate over the last decade, averaging 31% annual growth from 2013-2022. This rapid growth was driven by New York’s nation-leading community solar program. New York faces new challenges deploying rooftop and community solar, but in order to reach 20 GW of distributed solar by 2035, the state will need to sustain just 7-10% annual growth in deployment. This growth can be enabled with smart state-level policies and fueled by federal incentives that are available for the next decade due to the Inflation Reduction Act.

The roadmap lays out policy reforms needed to realize the potential of distributed solar, including:

  • Interconnection reform and flexible interconnection to lower clean energy costs and accelerate deployment;
  • Streamlined permitting for rooftop and community solar;
  • Virtual power plant programs and dynamic rate design to compensate distributed solar and energy storage for exporting power when and where it’s needed;
  • Continued investment in New York’s nation-leading community solar programs to provide even more direct bill savings to low-income New Yorkers

For more information on NYSEIA’s plan, download the full roadmap here.

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