Last week the Venture Home Solar blog featured information regarding the leadership CUNY is providing for the 2014 Resilient Solar Project, a 3-year initiative to develop a pathway for greater deployment of resilient solar power in New York state.  Working in concert with its many partners, CUNY has recently published the NY Resilient Solar Roadmap in March 2017 which outlines the progress made by project participants to date as well as next steps for the future.  This blog is intended to highlight some of the New York Solar Map resources available to policy makers as well as business and homeowners regarding the future of solar energy in our state.

The New York Solar Map focuses on a number of key issues, including the coordination of services and construction codes to incorporate solar energy installations.  The consortium members partner with agencies like the Department of Buildings and the Fire Department to work through the challenges of integrating solar technology into the existing building codes and regulations. To “go solar” requires an interface with the existing power grid – a process CUNY and its partners want to make easier, not harder.  There is even a NY Solar Ombudsman you can contact for more information about the progress being made in this area.

Next, the New York Solar Map includes a Resiliency Calculator that has been developed to help decision makers make informed decisions about energy resources in times of emergency.  Beyond supplying emergency power such as in the wake of Hurricane Sandy – a key event that put set the CUNY partnership in motion – resilient PV systems can help during times of peak usage by helping shift electrical load and by redistributing power on a regional basis to better service NY customers.   In addition, critical agencies such as shelters, schools and hospitals are factored into the emergency response planning to make sure that all resources are available when needed.

The “NYC Installed Energy Storage Systems” layer on the New York Solar Map offers insight into the energy storage systems currently installed in NYC. Information on the battery chemistry type, the system size, the location, whether the system is paired with solar, the date installed, and the project developer is available.  The New York Solar Map website states, “In light of NYC’s recent announcement to deploy 100 megawatt-hours of energy storage in NYC by 2030, mapping these systems and their key characteristics will support market growth and play a role in strengthening NYC’s resilience. As increased numbers of resilient solar systems are installed, a process has been established that will enable the mapping of these systems to better inform utility and city planners.”

Finally, there have been a number of reports published that provide key resources to those interested in solar energy and its growth as a sustainable energy source in NY State.  These reports are currently online:

  • Energy Storage Systems Permitting & Interconnection Guide for NYC – outlines the forms, documentation, and inspections required from City permitting agencies including DOB, FDNY, and Con Edison as well as general process & timeline for submitting.
  • Resilient Solar PV Hardware Fact Sheet – a guide outlining resilient PV system designs and components including a detailed battery comparison table listing usage types, lifetime, costs, safety, and other battery characteristics.
  • Solar+Storage and Microgrid Communications Fact Sheet – walks through the some of the different types of software products available for resilient PV and microgrid development and implementation, and explains the different functionalities that enable systems to accomplish the objectives of a DG project.
  • Solar+Storage Retrofit Guidelines – provides information to installers, utilities, policy makers, and consumers on how to add an energy storage system (ESS) to existing solar PV systems to create resilient PV or make new PV systems “storage ready”.
  • Economics & Finance Fact Sheet – a guide designed to provide solar installers and the general public with an understanding of the economics of solar photovoltaic projects that include battery storage systems (solar+storage) in New York City.
  • Economic & Resiliency Impact on NY Critical Infrastructure – this is a detailed report that analyzes the technical and economic viability of solar and storage on three critical infrastructure sites in New York City.
  • Guidance memo for including storage in Community Solarize Programs – provides information to communities interested in group purchase or Solarize programs which incorporate storage (i.e. battery back-up)
  • NYC Solar+Storage Glossary – definitions of terms relating to Solar+Storage
  • Solar and Storage Cost Survey  An aggregated analysis of results collected from a survey on the costs of resilient solar (solar+storage) conducted in 2015. Participants included energy storage and solar developers, energy advisers, engineering consultants, environmental consultants, environmental advocates, governmental agencies, and non-profit organizations.

Clearly, improving our solar energy storage capacity and distribution systems in the state of New York remains a high priority for business, government and citizens alike.  If you would like more information about New York’s various energy initiatives or about the viability of installing a solar energy system on your home or business, contact Venture Home Solar, a local solar expert.  Call us today at  800-203-4158 to find out more about investing in solar energy!  We are the local experts who know the “ins and outs” of our state policies here in New York, including the tax incentives and rebates that can make a solar installation on your home or business even more cost effective.