Community Solar Gets Real

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!

Launched this summer and fall, respectively, New York State’s leading-edge community solar projects in Ithaca and Hawthorne quickly sold out. In Ithaca, 1,000 subscriptions were initially offered, giving access to community solar for the first residents of the area to sign up. Subscribers committed to a one-year term, and will save 10% on their electricity bills. The project in Hawthorne is much smaller in comparison, with capacity for only 56 subscribers. Subscribers for this project committed to a two-year term, and are guaranteed to save at least 6~8% as compared to their standard electricity bills. The smaller scale of the project likely explains the slightly lower savings.

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