Solar Adoption in New York
The Growth of Solar Power and Bringing New York’s Renewable Energy Goals Within Reach
In order to achieve the goal set forth by New York’s Clean Energy Standard (which states that 50 percent of New York state’s electricity be generated from renewable energy sources by 2030), renewable energy sources like solar, wind power, and hydropower must be readily accessible to the New York residents. Solar power is often the first renewable energy source residents turn to, since solar panels can be placed on a roof, provided that a home qualifies. Community solar is highlighted in the plan as a great way to drive progress and make solar technology more affordable for all New Yorkers. On the other hand, a single installation for wind power requires at least one acre of land with “strong wind resources” to efficiently power a single home. Hydropower requires a stream, creek or other source of flowing water on the resident’s property. Data from the 2017 U.S. Energy Information Administration reports the following electricity generation by energy source in the U.S.: Hydropower – 7.5%; Wind – 6.3%; Solar – 1.3%. With the accessibility of solar thanks to Community Solar, there is notable opportunity for solar growth.
New Yorkers Embrace Solar
The U.S. Energy Administration reports that 2016 was the first time New York obtained more than one million megawatt hours of electricity from solar generation, and 84% of that power came from distributed sources such as rooftop solar panels. One megawatt represents the amount needed to power 750-1,000 homes.
According to NYSolar Map, New York has completed approximately 80,000 solar installations, and nearly 10,000 more are in progress. In fact, solar power in New York increased more than 1,000 percent from December 2011 to December 2017, according to Gov. Cuomo. This growth also “fueled” 12,000 solar jobs in the state.
NRG Community Solar’s first Community Solar farm has brought the opportunity for more residents to go solar, now without any rooftop installation and $0 deposit. With six more farms currently in development throughout the Hudson Valley, solar growth is certain to rise in the state. For customers that do not qualify for rooftop panels, those who don’t love the idea of placing panels on their home’s roof, or those simply wanting to support clean energy in a practical and beneficial way, Community Solar is a great option for more residents to be part of the difference.