You might recall from our August newsletter that there had been more than 900 applications to build community solar projects across New York state. Believe it or not, the latest report from the New York’s Department of Public Service shows that the number has increased by more than 50%, to nearly 1,400 projects in the queue. Working through all these applications is a tremendous amount of work for state authorities, which has slowed the process of getting them constructed – but two are now up and on the grid!
The goals of NY Renews are as simple as they are ambitious: we want New York State to lead the country in the fight for climate justice, and we’ve brought together an all-star team to make it happen.
When you think about Staten Island what do you think about? Mob wives? Pizza? Landfill? How about sustainability?
Judaism has a concept called tikkun olam- roughly translated as repairing the world. A large part of our mission is informed by living up to this.
One of the key benefits of community solar is the cost savings it can offer, even for low- and moderate-income households who don’t have access to traditional rooftop solar. By building at a larger scale than a single rooftop, a community solar garden lowers the cost of solar greatly, and offers the savings to hundreds of households.
Climate impacts are starting to hit closer to home. New York’s in the middle of an extreme drought that may persist for a while longer. Hurricane Sandy is still a fresh and bitter memory. While any single weather event can’t be linked directly to man-made climate change, we know the pattern around the world is cause for serious alarm. As we grapple with how to address the biggest challenge of our generation, we need to think of long-term solutions that have the ability to be sustained over time. Switching to clean energy should be a step we can all take now. But most New Yorkers can’t get rooftop solar so they can’t take this important action. That’s all changing, however, with the advent of community solar in the Empire State.
Did you know the cost of solar panels has dropped on average 10% a year since 1980? It’s a trend that experts predict will continue, making solar the least-cost generation technology in most countries by 2030.
As solar technology evolves and becomes more and more affordable, it’s hard to miss the many exciting possible uses. Imagine flying in a solar powered plane, or enjoying locally brewed solar-powered beer. These aren’t pie-in-the-sky dreams—they are already happening! Here’s just a few recent stories that shed light on how solar is changing our world for the better.
New Yorkers are on the brink of a major new renewable energy opportunity. It’s called “community solar” — and it’s a really big deal.
In a nutshell, community solar allows people to buy solar power for their homes or offices from a nearby community solar “farm” – an array of high-efficiency solar panels that could be built in a local brownfield site, on top of public buildings, or private land. It works just like having a solar panel on your roof…but without having to install any equipment (or needing a roof!). And it’s integrated with local utilities, so you can see your solar credits right on your electricity bills.
If you still don’t have solar, it’s time to get off the sidelines of the solar wave and reserve your place at the front of the line of the clean energy revolution. Anybody who pays an electric bill can join. You don’t need any equipment. There are no upfront payments. And you’re likely to even save money. Rooftop solar is great, but it only works for a small group of homeowners or businesses. Community solar is here in New York. Solar for everybody is no longer an empty slogan.
Now Everyone Can Enjoy the Benefits of Solar Power
For the very first time, anyone who pays an electric bill in New York can participate in the solar power boom. In mid-2015 the state established a new initiative: the Community Distributed Generation program, which opens up the solar market to more consumers than ever before.
How? Through “Community Solar.” If you haven’t heard of it yet, you will soon – because it’s starting to pick up momentum across the state.