NY Solar Jobs Bill will improve air quality and health

The solar jobs bill will not only provide new local economic development opportunity and good paying jobs, but it will also result in significant health benefits to all New Yorkers throughout the state by improving our air quality and removing global warming pollution. Our economic-public health tally shows at least $158 million to $226 million in total public health benefits (avoided health costs from emissions of existing fossil fuel combustion linked to public morbidity and mortality).[1]

Specifically NYSJA will:

  • Reduce stress on New York’s power grid during peak hours, lessening the need to run older, dirtier plants, especially on summer days.
  • Reduce harmful emissions of mercury and smog-causing pollution. Over 65 percent of New Yorkers currently live in counties where air pollution endangers lives.
  • Reduce global warming pollution, equivalent to taking 95,000 cars off the road.

The table below summarizes the atmospheric pollutant reductions from a program that would achieve 5 GW of solar (3% statewide electricity generation) in New York by 2026.[2]101


Criteria Pollutants

Greenhouse Gases

Mercury (Hg)

Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

Carbon dioxide (CO2) equiv.

70.0 lbs.

9.2 million lbs.

25.2 million lbs.

3.9 million metric tons

(95,000 cars)


[1] Derived from multiplying 3% (the amount of displaced existing generation from 5GW capacity or nearly 6 GWh energy production from NYSJA) by $3.4 billion (the most recent EPA health impact study from the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards Rule for New York, see http://www.epa.gov/mats/whereyoulive/ny.html) and the range of $48 million to $116 million (the modeled economic health impacts in New York from ozone and particulate matter in the Northeast U.S. for the Cross-state Air Interstate Rule, Table 3-2, “Summary of the value of avoided incidences attributed to reduced ozone due to CAIR+ in OTR states.”  See: http://www.mass.gov/dep/air/priorities/hazeapaa.pdf).

[2] Emission co-efficients from EPA Egrid 2007, summarized in the table, below. See http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/egrid/index.html

Emissions Co-Efficients for GHG's
(Non-Baseload Emissions)

Other Criteria Pollutants
(Non-Baseload Emissions)

Carbon dioxide (CO2) (lbs/MWh)

Methane (CH4) (lbs/GWh)

Nitrous oxide (N20) (lbs/GWh)

Mercury (Hg) (lbs/GWh)

Nitrogen oxides (NOx) (lbs/GWh)

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) (lbs/MWh)







(100 yr CO2e)