The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and developer Hudson Solar have cut the ribbon on the first community solar project located in Columbia County, N.Y. According to NYSERDA, the installation will help New York meet Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal requiring 50% of the state’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.
Alicia Barton, president and CEO, NYSERDA, says, “New Yorkers all across the state are embracing our state’s transition to a clean energy future and demanding greater access to clean energy solutions like solar energy. Community solar projects like this one in Columbia County are now making that option available to greater numbers of New York residents every day as part of Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading strategy to expand renewable energy access statewide.”
The 214 kW community solar project, built on one acre in the town of Clermont, was designed and constructed by New York-based Hudson Solar. The project can accommodate up to 40 customers.
As NYSERDA explains, community solar projects enable multiple residents and small business owners to receive a portion of the energy produced by an off-site solar array. Participants receive credit on their individual monthly electric bills for the power the array produces. Members of a community solar array can own solar panels and utilize the energy they produce without installing anything on their own site.
“For homeowners without a good site for solar, there were no real options to save money. We’re delighted to be offering a new way to create clean energy that’s accessible to many more people,” says Jeff Irish, founder and president of Hudson Solar.
According to NYSERDA, the project was supported through NY-Sun, Cuomo’s $1 billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar and move the state closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. NY-Sun is also one of the pillars of the state’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy.
Since 2011, NYSERDA adds, solar in New York has increased nearly 800% and leveraged nearly $1.5 billion in private investments. There are more than 12,000 people engaged in solar jobs across New York.
Photo courtesy of NYSERDA’s Twitter account