NY Solar Smart Initiative by SUNY
Did you know that NY is Solar Smart? This wasn’t always the case. Solar production in NYC 10-15 years ago was minimal – like in most other American cities. There were extensive policy and technical barriers, no real distribution system for solar-generated power, and an overall lack of awareness on the part of the public as to the cost savings and environmental advantages of solar energy. Also critical – there were few economic incentives on the part of government to make solar technology affordable.
NY Solar Smart Partnerships
But that scenario was about to change, in large part due to the efforts of the City University of New York. Calling itself Sustainable CUNY, the university formed the NYC Solar Partnership in 2006 in collaboration with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). Their goal was to develop and implement comprehensive plans for wide-spread solar installations in order to positively impact the environment and to generate economic growth in New York City. This strategic approach has resulted in Federal, State and City support for key programs that Sustainable CUNY implements on behalf of NYC, now in collaboration with over 40 key partners.
In 2014 Mayor Bill de Blasio committed to continuing the CUNY Partnership through a comprehensive initiative under One City: Built to Last that includes a two new programs: Solarize NYC and Shared Solar NYC. In September of 2016 the Mayor announced the City’s new target for solar capacity was raised to 1,000 MW by 2030, and additionally, set NYC’s first energy storage target of 100 MWh by 2020 to provide needed power during outages.
A comprehensive strategic plan called NYSolar Smart is now being implemented by Sustainable CUNY. NYSolar Smart is focused on reducing the soft costs of going solar in NY. The plan is supported by the U.S. DOE’s SunShot Initiative, the NY-Sun Initiative and the NYC One City Built to Last program and works in partnership with NYPA (New York Power Authority), NYSERDA (NY State Energy Research and Development Authority), municipalities around the state, and more than 70 organizations representing utility companies, installers, government agencies and industry leaders.
Ten Steps to Becoming Solar Smart in NY
So what does all of this collaboration mean for you, the average home or business owner in NY State. It means that all the key players are in place to make solar energy expansion a reality. It means that there has never been a better time to install solar. All you need to do is get started.
The Sustainable CUNY plan recommends that anyone considering a solar installation, whether for residential or commercial property, follow these 10 steps:
- Evaluate the building’s solar potential (see Solar Map solar potential calculator)
- Check eligibility for solar incentives.
- Gather energy bills and contact solar installers
- Receive remote and on-site evaluations from contractors to get at least 3 quotes
- Check with your installer to see if your roof needs to be reinforced or replaced
- Contact references from solar contractors
- Evaluate costs and financing options to decide on direct ownership or third-party ownership
- Sign contract with selected solar installer
- The solar contractor files applications for incentives and permits; the installation moves forward
- A typical installation takes just 1-2 days, be sure to work with a tax attorney or accountant to file for tax credits once your installation is activated.
Solar Smart in NY
Solar energy in NY is clearly on the move. Our state and local policy makers and utility companies are working hard to advance solar energy in our state, and we are making great strides in terms of economic growth as a result. We should be proud of those accomplishments. Venture Home Solar certainly is, and we stand ready to help you explore your solar options. Headquartered in Brooklyn, we only serve NYC and the surrounding areas. We’re the local experts who get jobs done quickly and cleanly – just ask your neighbors.
If you are looking to go solar with your home, learn more by contacting one of our solar experts at Venture Home Solar. We can help you with the 10 step process recommended by Sustainable Suny as well as provide you with our experienced analysis of what you need as a home or business owner to “go solar.” NY is Solar Smart – you can be too!