NY State Spending Big In Solar, Efficiency Push

If you listen closely, you’ll hear it: the sound of green building pros and solar installers popping open the champagne across the Empire State.

First the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo launched NY-Sun, a $432 million energy initiative aimed at lowering the cost of solar power generation. Now New York Gov. Cuomo has announced major investments in clean energy and environmental projects through both the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) aimed at reducing energy consumption in state buildings and additional solar incentives for homeowners and businesses.

New York City

image via Shutterstock

NYPA will finance approximately $450 million in cost-effective energy efficiency projects over the next four years, with the goal of reducing the energy consumption of state-owned buildings by 20 percent. Efficiency improvements will include such items as new lighting fixtures, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems, electric motors, and automated energy management systems. For many projects, upfront costs will be financed by the state, with energy savings used to pay back the loans. (Financing priority will be given to the worst offenders — i.e., the most inefficient buildings.)

NYPA intends to finance an additional $350 million over the next four years to provide energy efficiency financing and technical services to county and local governments and schools.

As part of the NY-Sun Initiative, the Governor has also committed to doubling the amount of customer-sited solar power installed annually in New York, and to quadruple that amount by 2013. On April 19 — just in time for Earth Day — the New York Public Service Commission approved doubling NYSERDA’s funding for customer-sited solar electric systems to $432 million over the next four years. This expanded solar program will increase financial incentives for large, commercial-sized PV projects while expanding incentive programs for small-to-medium residential and commercial systems.

More information on New York’s latest green initiatives is available online.

NYPA does have a $30 million Solar MAP initiative. Perhaps that’s the $30 million you are referring to?

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.