Environmental News: Media Center
NEW YORK (April 24, 2014) — The Cuomo administration today took the final step in approving a major expansion of the state’s NY-Sun Initiative—a program that is successfully boosting solar power across the state—extending it through 2023 and supporting a tenfold increase in the clean energy source.
A statement from NRDC Clean Energy Counsel Kit Kennedy follows:
“In just two years, New York has gone from a couple hundred rooftops with solar panels statewide to breaking into the top 10 spot for solar installations nationwide. Already, solar power is helping to fight climate change, creating thousands of good-paying jobs in the state, and saving New Yorkers millions on their energy bills. That’s just the start. This expansion will help exponentially increase that progress—taking us to a level never before seen in the state, and cementing New York as a national leader on solar power.”
When the NY-Sun Initiative was launched in 2012 with the intention of making New York a national leader on solar energy, there weren’t much more than a couple hundred rooftop installations in the state.
Now there are more than 250 megawatts of solar power installed in the state—a 150% increase since 2011 and enough to power nearly 40,000 homes. New York has gone from being ranked #12 in solar nationwide, to breaking the Top 10 at #9 in solar energy. The state has also taken the #5 spot nationwide for solar jobs with well over 400 solar companies employing over 5,000 New Yorkers.
The expansion announced today is projected to take this success to another level with the following projected environmental & economic benefits for the state:
- Building 3,000 MW of solar power, enough reliable clean electricity to power nearly half a million New York homes.
- Reducing climate change pollution by another 2.3 million tons annually—the equivalent of taking almost 450,000 cars off the road
- Supporting nearly 10,000 local jobs at its height in a given year (or 52,000 total job-years for the duration of the program)
- Generating a total of over $8.2 billion in local economic activity and output over the course of the program
- Energy savings worth hundreds of millions of dollars to New York consumers
- A more diversified state energy mix, which protects against price spikes
For more information, check out Kit Kennedy’s blog here: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kkennedy/already_rapidly_spreading_acro.html