Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that 850 solar projects have been installed or are in development in communities across New York State through the second round of locally-organized "Solarize" campaigns. Launched by the Governor in December 2014, New York's Solarize program is an important component in supporting the State's Clean Energy Standard, which requires that 50 percent of the electricity in New York to come from renewable sources by 2030.
"New York continues to see unprecedented growth in the solar energy industry across the state, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing jobs, and driving economic growth," Governor Cuomo said. "By helping residents and businesses install solar energy panels, we are reducing costs for consumers and fueling the clean energy economy in New York for years to come."
The announcement was made at an event in Brownsville, Brooklyn, where more than 200 homes have been outfitted with solar panels as part of the "Solarize Brownsville" campaign. Solarize Brownsville brought together community partners, local residents, and the selected solar installer to successfully demonstrate that solar power can make an impact in low- to moderate-income communities.
Building on this momentum, NYSERDA and the Center for Economic Growth launched today the first state-supported Solarize campaign aimed at helping manufacturers install clean-energy producing solar systems. The campaign will bring together potential solar customers in the Capital Region to receive competitive pricing through joint purchasing arrangements.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provided $700,000 in technical and marketing support in the first two rounds of the Solarize program, in 2015 and 2016. Projects in rounds one and two total 13.46 megawatts of installed solar and will save participants a total of approximately $2.9 million on upfront purchase costs, for an average savings of $1,743 per installation.
Solarize campaigns bring together groups of potential solar customers, including low-to-moderate income participants, through widespread outreach and education and help customers choose solar companies that offer competitive, transparent pricing.
Campaigns are managed by partnerships that include community officials, elected officials, municipalities and businesses. Communities engaged in Solarize campaigns are able to simplify the procurement and installation of solar panels and obtain discounts through aggregated purchases.
The campaigns generally run between six and nine months, including planning and outreach. By educating the local community, streamlining marketing efforts and aggregating customers, Solarize campaigns help make solar a more accessible and affordable energy option for homeowners and businesses.
Second Round of Community Campaigns by Region:
Number of Campaigns
Total Projects/Kilowatts (kW)
Solarize Albany, Solarize Schenectady County, Solarize 7+, Solarize Columbia County
53 projects/391 kW
Central New York
Solarize CNY: Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego
7 projects/60 kW
Solarize the Flower City, Solar Orleans
53 projects/486 kW
Solarize North Hempstead, Tri-Energy
27 projects/161 kW
Solarize Sullivan, Solarize Wappingers, Solarize Northern Dutchess, Solarize Saugerties, Solarize Nyack Plus; Solarize Hastings-Dobbs Ferry; Solarize Rye Brook; Solarize Somers-New Castle; Solarize Tarrytown
395 projects/3,146 kW
New York City
Solarize Brownsville, Solarize Brooklyn CB6, Central Brooklyn Community Solar Campaign, Solarize LES, We Act Solar
Solarize Ogdensburg, Solarize Adirondack Coast, Solarize Tri-Lakes
40 projects/336 kW
Western New York
43 projects/332 kW
The Solarize program is now entering a third round of campaigns around the State that will further build on the success of the initiative in helping additional neighborhoods to go solar.
The Solarize campaigns are one facet of a broad range of efforts under Governor Cuomo's $1 billion NY-Sun program-part of his Reforming the Energy Vision strategy-to advance the scale-up of solar and move New York State closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. State-supported solar power in New York increased nearly 800 percent, from December 2011 to December 2016.
Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York State Richard L. Kauffman said, "The Solarize campaigns are helping communities transition to more sustainable energy practices, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lowering costs. Under Governor Cuomo's comprehensive NY-Sun initiative, New York is driving affordable, clean energy solutions to create healthier, stronger neighborhoods across the State."
NYSERDA President and CEO Alicia Barton said, "Solarize campaigns create opportunities for community members to work together to reduce energy costs and protect the environment. Solar supports Governor Cuomo's nation-leading energy goals and will help make energy more affordable for all New Yorkers."
Colette Pean, Executive Director of East New York Restoration LDC, said, "The success of the Solarize Brownsville campaign was because of the extensive community ties the sponsoring agencies had with the residents of Ocean-Hill Brownsville and East New York. Our neighborhoods are eager to have a clean environment and lower our energy costs--the challenge is how to achieve this in a sustainable manner. Assemblywoman Latrice Walker was a key champion for bringing the benefits of solar energy to better the health of homeowners and community residents; we couldn't have done it without her!"
Malcolm Bliss, Community Programs Director of Level Solar, said, "Level Solar is proud to have been selected as the preferred Solarize installer for Brownsville, and we are excited to celebrate New York State's most successful Solarize program to date. We thank Governor Cuomo and NYSERDA for making these solar installations possible. We also give special thanks to Latrice Walker, Colette Pean, and other Brownsville leaders for championing local efforts in the community. Through Level Solar's program, over 200 Brownsville and Ocean Hill residents will transition to lower cost, clean solar energy with no upfront cost. Residents will save hundreds of thousands of dollars on their electricity, and at the same time, dramatically reduce carbon emissions. As part of Level Solar's continued commitment to the community, Level Solar has created over 30 clean energy jobs in Brooklyn, and opened a new operations facility to support further solar installations."
Senator Kevin Parker said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo and NYSERDA for continuing to build on our renewable energy and sustainability goals. It is crucial that our City maintain its leadership role in promoting solar and other renewable energy. I fully support "Solarize Brownsville" and look forward to seeing this initiative spreading to other areas of Brooklyn and throughout New York State."
Senator Roxanne J. Persaud said, "New York's Solarize program is an important environmental project as we make solid investments in our ecological future. With the use of renewable energy, we will minimize our collective carbon footprint. Let us continue to build on the success that we have achieved in Brownsville and solarize more communities. We are committed to preserving our planet for future generations and this is only one-step forward."
Assemblywoman Latrice Walker said, "As chair of the subcommittee on Renewable Energy, I am so excited that NYSERDA is reaching out to the community and providing information about offshore wind projects and upcoming employment opportunities. This is important because offshore wind will be so much closer to load centers in New York City and Long Island, than the projects upstate."
About Reforming the Energy Vision
Reforming the Energy Vision is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York's economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency and generating 50 percent of the state's electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030. Already, REV has driven a nearly 800 percent growth in the statewide solar market, enabled over 105,000 low-income households to permanently cut their energy bills with energy efficiency, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors. REV is ensuring New York State reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and achieves the internationally-recognized target of reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050. To learn more about REV, including the Governor's $5 billion investment in clean energy technology and innovation, please visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow us at @Rev4NY.