Study Reveals New York City’s Solar Energy Potential


According to a recent study conducted by researchers at the City University of New York (CUNY), solar energy could supply New York City with more than 10% of its power by 2030 if the city, state and federal governments work to find new sources of funding and incentives and remove barriers.

The report, which is part of CUNY's Million Solar Roofs Initiative that sets a goal of aiding in the installation of 500 solar roofs in the city by 2010, makes several recommendations to reach this goal and New York City's solar energy capacity.

The recommendations included in the study are: exploring funding sources for photovoltaic systems on public buildings for New York Power Authority (NYPA) customers; reducing or eliminating NYPA's management fee on the installation of photovoltaic systems; establishing a network with the New York Public Service Commission, Con Ed and CUNY to track and eliminate interconnection problems; and offering higher rebates for projects.

‘The city has unique technical barriers that will constrain the market,’ says Tria Case, executive director of the Center for Sustainable Energy at Bronx Community College and co-author of the report. ‘Commercial photovoltaic systems, for example, are not allowed to export power to the city's electricity grid and must buy expensive reverse power relays to interconnect. And the city now requires that photovoltaic systems be tested after installation, which is costly. No other city in the nation requires this.’

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