New York Solar Power Gets A $30 Million Boost

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is launching a $30 million energy initiative aimed at lowering the cost of solar power generation.

NYPA, the nation’s largest state public power organization, said the five-year program will fund solar energy research as well as training and demonstration projects. The program is part of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “NY-Sun Initiative,” announced during his 2012 State of the State Address.

new york solar power

image via Shutterstock

The aim of the initiative is to make solar technology more affordable for homeowners and businesses in the New York area. Measures Gov. Cuomo has proposed include extending the solar sales tax exemption currently available only to homeowners to include the commercial sector, as well as supporting research efforts into cost-saving solar equipment such as mounting racks and power inverters.

“New York State has the expertise to significantly increase the use of solar energy by developing new technologies to create jobs and make solar more affordable,” the governor said in a statement.

The latest funding comes on the back of number of new initiatives to increase the use of solar power in the state.

Last month, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg put out a request to renewable energy companies asking for proposals to design, install and operate solar and wind facilities at Fresh Kills on Staten Island. The project would see approximately 75-acres of land developed with as much as 20 megawatts of solar facilities.

This week the mayor announced the city had tripled its production of solar power by completing the installation of panels on 10 city-owned buildings. Bloomberg, who has become known as the “green mayor,” has not been shy in putting his money where his mouth is. His own company, Bloomberg LP has installed 5,500 solar panels at its offices in New Jersey, which he said generated 60 per cent of the business’ electricity needs.

Paul Willis has been journalist for a decade. Starting out in Northern England, from where he hails, he worked as a reporter on regional papers before graduating to the cut-throat world of London print media. On the way he spent a year as a correspondent in East Africa, writing about election fraud, drought and an Ethiopian version of American Idol. Since moving to America three years ago he has worked as a freelancer, working for CNN.com and major newspapers in Britain, Australia and North America. He writes on subjects as diverse as travel, media ethics and human evolution. He lives in New York where, in spite of the car fumes and the sometimes eccentric driving habits of the yellow cabs, he rides his bike everywhere.