New York City has reached a great new milestone: the city has currently installed more than 148 MW solar! This is an increase of over six times, since the end of year 2013. On a sunny day, solar panels in the city are literally paying for themselves!

NYC has always been ambitious about embracing renewable energy. Always a leader in progressive ideas and their implementation, this new milestone is a testament to the growth of solar that has been happening in the city in the recent past. “According to the latest figures, less than a quarter of the electric energy produced in New York came from renewables,” claims an article in The New York Times. It goes on to mention:

By 2030, Mr. Cuomo wants half of the electricity consumed in the state to come from renewable sources produced here or imported from places like Canada and New England.

 

Solar in New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo also said that, from December 2011 to December 2017, solar power in New York increased more than 1,000 percent, leveraging more than $2.8 billion in private investment into New York’s clean energy economy. Cuomo also mentioned that solar power is critical to achieving the mandate — that by 2030, half of all electricity consumed will come from renewable energy sources. The aim is to establish New York as one of the national leaders in clean energy growth.

“Solar is a vital part of this state’s clean energy future and we have experienced unprecedented growth in this new sector,”said Governor Cuomo. “We will continue to support the development of solar, helping to spur economic growth, creating new jobs and helping to build a cleaner, greener and more sustainable New York for all.”

 

New York City Goals

Mayor Bill de Blasio launched the OneNYC climate change program in 2015. Its goals are:

  • to lower New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below their 2005 levels by 2050
  • to achieve the best air quality of any large city in the United States
  • and to send no waste to landfills by 2030

Renewable energy policy adviser with the mayor’s Office of Sustainability, Benjamin Mandel, said that the city is working to ensure that as the market moves beyond net metering, it “has the right kind of signals both in terms of where it benefits utilities and also where does policy benefit and where we want to see DER projects going, including community solar.”

In terms of the installed capacity needed to meet its greenhouse gas mitigation goal, the mayor’s office has estimated it would need 7 GW of solar citywide. According to Mandel, this is “our entire technical potential.”