Community solar allows people to subscribe to a nearby solar farm and see savings on their electric bill–and it’s a major and growing part of New York State’s solar landscape. Here’s what you need to know to get involved and support New York community solar in 2019.
Community Solar Poised to Grow The NY State Solar Market
Even though it sees less sun than arid southern states like California and Arizona, New York has, until recently, held a place in the top 10 solar states. Up through 2016, solid net metering policies had allowed solar developers and households to put nearly a gigawatt of solar in the ground (that’s enough to power more than 150,000 homes!).
Community solar is poised to contribute to that growth in a major way, with more than 300 proposed projects around the state that could together power around 100,000 homes.
Here’s How Community Solar Works for Your Household.
…But Current New York Community Solar Policies Aren’t Enough to Keep Up With Top States
Unfortunately, recent policy development have severely slowed new solar development. As the debate over the state’s energy system overhaul, dubbed VDER (Value of Distributed Energy Resources) has dragged on, New York has slipped from the top 10 solar states altogether.
And the final results of the policy haven’t been all positive, either. Experts say that the new system doesn’t account for the true value that solar provides to New Yorkers. It has also stalled many of the proposed community solar projects and caused the state to fall behind in its efforts to build an affordable and sustainable electric grid.
Community Solar Brings You Savings On Your Electric Bill. These Are The Policies That Make It Happen.
Still, Community Solar Is Bringing Clean Energy to Many New Yorkers For The First Time.
Thanks to thousands of dedicated households and a defiant local solar industry, many projects are still moving forward. Six new NY community solar projects came online in the first half of 2018–including two projects that Solstice helped to enroll. One of them was even the largest in the state at the time of its completion.
Our upcoming projects in partnership with the NYC Housing Authority aim to push the envelope even further, making clean energy available to affordable housing tenants from arrays on their own rooftops. These projects will bring savings to New Yorkers regardless of their credit score (a common requirement that leads to the exclusion of many Americans), making them some of the most inclusive solar projects in state history.
…And More Projects Are Now Available For New Yorkers
Solstice is currently offering community solar subscriptions to households from around the state. Most recently, our projects in partnership with local developer Delaware River Solar have been making the news for their innovative contracts, which are designed to work for households regardless of whether they own or rent their homes.
Want to learn more about community solar and learn whether or not you’re eligible to participate? Fill out the form below to access our complete guide for 2019.