New York to help fund solar projects for low-income communities

new york solar funding

Andrew Cuomo is a friend of solar.

What won’t New York do at this point to boost solar installations? Gov. Andrew Cuomo just announced $3.6 million in funding to give low- to moderate-income communities greater access to solar energy across the state. The funding will help affordable housing providers and community organizations overcome barriers they often face in advancing solar and clean energy projects.

“Clean energy is key to combatting climate change and we must ensure that the development and use of these cutting edge technologies are not only available to the wealthy,” Governor Cuomo said. “Through this effort, we are helping New Yorkers to save money and are building a cleaner and more resilient New York for all.”

Find more info on applying for the funds here.

Overcoming barriers

Multiple barriers unique to serving low to moderate income communities can delay the progress of solar projects, including financing, procurement, marketing and customer outreach, and other components necessary for successful project development. Community organizations and affordable housing providers are critical partners in developing solutions to these barriers and achieving access to solar for LMI households. However, these entities often lack the financial resources, solar market experience or staff capacity to bring a solar project from concept to operation. This funding opportunity aims to fill this gap by providing these on-the-ground allies with the resources they need to get solar projects off the ground and delivering clean power where it matters most.

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Richard Kauffman, New York State Chairman of Energy and Finance, said, “Under Governor Cuomo, New York is ensuring all communities have access to renewable energy under his Reforming the Energy Vision strategy. From enabling community solar to providing support like this for pre-development work in underserved areas, our policies and programs are using new and innovative solutions for solar project development across our state so everyone can benefit from lower energy bills and be part of New York’s clean energy future.”

The funding is made available through the Governor’s NY-Sun Initiative and is being administered in addition to the State’s $234 million commitment under the Clean Energy Fund for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for LMI households. A total of 40 percent of New York State households have incomes considered low to moderate, which means they earn less than 80 percent of the median income in their area.

The $3.6 million is offered on a competitive basis through the NY-Sun Affordable Solar Predevelopment and Technical Assistance initiative. It will focus on solar projects that offer meaningful benefits to LMI customers and affordable housing providers, and demonstrate economically viable project models. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is administering the initiative.

 

Applications will be accepted through Aug. 31, 2018, or until funds are exhausted. Individual project awards will not exceed $200,000.

— Solar Builder magazine

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