Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces $52.5 million available for community solar projects serving disadvantaged communities

On July 20, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of the Inclusive Community Solar Adder Program that will make $52.5 million available for community solar projects that support underserved New Yorkers and underserved communities. Projects funded through the program are expected to serve up to 50,000 low-to-middle-income households, affordable housing providers and facilities for underprivileged communities, who will receive energy bill savings from the clean, renewable energy generated by community sun. Increasing access to solar energy for low-income residents supports Governor Cuomo’s goal of ensuring that at least 35% with a 40% target of the benefits of clean energy investments go to underserved communities such as set forth in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

“This Administration” is committed to expanding solar access for all New Yorkers as we work toward a just and equitable transition to a green economy,” That’s what Governor Cuomo said. “This program will provide the necessary support to advance solar energy projects in communities that have historically been understaffed and can make the most of the health and environmental benefits and cost savings.”

The Inclusive Community Solar Adder program, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, provides an additional incentive for NY-Sun community solar projects that devote at least 20% of their project to eligible low-to-middle-income households and underprivileged communities. The program adder will increase community access to solar, help customers save at least 10% on their electric bills, and lower operating costs for affordable housing and nonprofits serving underserved communities. Bonus incentives will be awarded for projects in environmental justice communities taxed by conventional power generating plants.

“As we build a more resilient grid, it is critical that we remove barriers and scale access to clean, renewable energy sources for all New Yorkers. NYSERDA’s Inclusive Community Solar Adder program is unique in that it takes a two-pronged approach to increasing solar access and cutting costs by serving both families and affordable housing providers that support residents in underserved communities,” said NYSERDA. NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris.

The program design was informed by a request for information issued by NYSERDA in December 2020 and by stakeholders who participated in a March 2021 webinar hosted by NYSERDA. Another webinar on the program will be held on July 28, 2021 from 2 p.m.

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