Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced the completion of the first community solar paired with energy storage project in New York. The milestone project will reduce the energy costs for approximately 150 households in Westchester County and New York City as well as provide power to 12 Tesla electric vehicle (EV) supercharging stations.
The announcement supports Governor Cuomo's goals to install 6000 MW of solar by 2025 and 3000 MW of energy storage by 2030, as called for in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
"New York remains unwavering in our commitment to developing renewable energy resources that will grow our clean energy economy and advance our nation-leading plan to fight climate change," Governor Cuomo said. "This first-of-its-kind project in New York combines renewable energy and energy storage that together will deliver reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy creating a model for communities around the state."
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), through its NY-Sun and Retail Energy Storage programs, provided nearly US$800,000 in support of the community solar plus energy storage project, which is expected to provide participants with approximately 10% savings on their monthly electricity bills for 25 years as well as provide power to Tesla's EV charging stations.
Installed by IPPsolar LLC, and owned and operated by Urstadt Biddle Properties Inc., the 557-kW rooftop solar project comprises nearly 1500 panels and is paired with 490-kW four-hour Tesla Powerpack lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who made the announcement in Yorktown Heights, Westchester County, said: "This announcement of the first completed community solar paired with energy storage project marks another major renewable energy milestone in New York. IPPsolar and Urstadt Biddle Properties had the vision and commitment to make this project a reality, and will serve as an example to other commercial properties that these projects can provide clean, affordable energy for years to come. We are proud in New York to lead the way with our commitment and efforts to combat climate change and build back better, cleaner, and greener for future generations."
Community solar offers households the opportunity to benefit from a solar project in their area often without any upfront costs or participation fees. These projects increase access to solar for homeowners and renters who may not have ideal conditions to install solar panels at their household. Energy is still delivered to participants through their regular electricity provider while the power produced from the community solar project is fed directly into the electric grid. As a result, the grid is supplied with clean, renewable energy and the participants receive credit for this power through their electric bills.
The NYSERDA's Retail Energy Storage Incentive program provides commercial customers funding for standalone, grid-connected energy storage or systems paired with new or existing clean, on-site generation, such as solar. There are currently 50 community solar projects paired with energy storage across the state in the NYSERDA's project pipeline, which are expected to be installed in the next two to three years.
The energy storage systems store solar energy in the morning and discharge the energy to the grid in the late afternoon and evening hours, when power needs and grid stress are greatest. Additionally, in the event of a grid outage, these systems can isolate from utility equipment in order to operate as a microgrid and provide power to critical load until grid functions are restored.
NY-Sun is Governor Cuomo's signature initiative to advance the scale-up solar and move the state closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. Since 2011, solar in New York State has increased nearly 1800%, leveraged nearly US$4 billion in private investments, and decreased the cost of solar by nearly 60%.
In May, the New York Public Service Commission approved a US$573 million expansion of the NY-Sun program, including a total of US$200 million to support activities and project investments focused on low- and moderate-income New Yorkers, affordable housing, environmental justice, and disadvantaged communities.
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