Solar Energy Coming to NY’s Low-Income Communities

January 6, 2017 -- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in December that $3.6 million in funding is available to increase access to solar energy in low- to moderate-income households (LMI) through the Governor’s NY-Sun Initiative. The initiative will help affordable housing providers and community organizations overcome barriers they often face in advancing solar and clean energy projects for LMI communities.

Developing and initiating successful solar-project developments for LMI communities has challenging barriers, according to administration officials. Community organizations and affordable housing providers often lack the financial resources, solar market experience, or staff capacity to bring the projects from concept to operation. These funds will provide on-the-ground allies with the resources they need to overcome these barriers and provide clean energy where it matters most.

The NY-Sun Initiative will help New York meet its nation-leading Clean Energy Standard for 50 percent of electricity to come from renewable resources, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent, by 2030.
“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,” said Cuomo. “Through this effort, we are helping New Yorkers to save money and are building a cleaner and more resilient New York for all.”

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.

“Under Governor Cuomo, New York is ensuring all communities have access to renewable energy under his ‘Reforming the Energy Vision strategy,’” said New York State Chairman of Energy and Finance Richard Kauffman.

The $3.6 million is offered on a competitive basis through the NY-Sun Affordable Solar Predevelopment and Technical Assistance Initiative, which is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Applications will be accepted through August 31, 2018, or until funds are exhausted, and individual projects will not exceed $200,000. More information about the application process can be found on NYSERDA’s website.

Sources: Media reports, press releases