Governor Hochul’s Office Announces New York Distributed Solar Plan

Long Island Construction Law does not own this content. This content was created by Governor Hochul’s Office, and was published on December 17, 2021.

Key Facts:

-Enough to Annually Power Nearly 700,000 Additional New York Homes

-Proposes Comprehensive Roadmap to Expand State’s Successful NY-Sun Initiative and Increase Access to Solar for New Yorkers

-Expected to Spur Approximately $4.4 billion in Private Investments, Create 6,000 Additional Solar Jobs – With First Prevailing Wage for Projects Above 1 MW – With a Goal to Deliver 40 percent of Benefits for Statutorily-Defined Disadvantaged Communities and Low- to Moderate- Income New Yorkers

-Supports State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act Goal to Generate 70 Percent of State’s Electricity from Renewables by 2030

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a framework for the State to achieve at least ten gigawatts of distributed solar by 2030, enough to annually power nearly 700,000 homes. The roadmap, submitted by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York State Department of Public Service (DPS) to the Public Service Commission for public comment and approval, proposes a comprehensive strategy to expand the state’s successful NY-Sun initiative into one of the largest and most inclusive solar programs of its kind in the nation, helping to increase access to solar for more New Yorkers.

In addition to spurring approximately $4.4 billion in private investment and creating 6,000 additional solar jobs across the state – including with the State’s first application of prevailing wage for solar projects between one and five megawatts – the program expansion will also deliver at least 35 percent of the benefits with a goal of 40 percent from the investments to statutorily-defined disadvantaged communities and low-to moderate- income New Yorkers. Today’s announcement supports the State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) mandate to generate 70 percent of the state’s electricity from renewables by 2030 as part of a resilient and equitable transition to a clean energy economy.

“In New York, we recognize the time to act on climate change is now — we simply cannot wait as we have seen the impacts of this crisis devastate our communities, our businesses, and our economy,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Strengthening our commitment to solar energy will help build healthier, more resilient communities while catalyzing quality, good paying new jobs in this thriving sector of our clean energy economy.”

NYSERDA and DPS carefully evaluated multiple strategies to deploy ten gigawatts or more of distributed solar — projects that are under five megawatts in size, including rooftop installations and community solar projects — by 2030 and determined that extending the State’s successful NY-Sun initiative provides the most efficient, familiar, and cost-effective path forward. Achieving the state’s expanded solar goal is expected to generate enough clean electricity per year to power nearly 700,000 additional New York homes, including those in disadvantaged communities.

Importantly, the Roadmap proposes:

  • Enough new clean, renewable energy to annually power 700,000 additional homes;
  • At least 1,600 megawatts, enough to power 280,000 homes, of new solar capacity to benefit disadvantaged communities and low-to-moderate income New Yorkers, with an estimated $600 million in investments serving these communities;
  • At least 450 megawatts, enough to power nearly 79,000 homes, be built in the Con Edison electric service area (covering New York City and parts of Westchester), increasing the installed solar capacity in this area to over one gigawatt, enough to power nearly 175,000 homes, by the end of decade;
  • At least 560 megawatts, enough to power 98,000 homes, to be advanced through the Long Island Power Authority; and
  • A new requirement that workers associated with the construction of NY-Sun supported projects that are greater than one megawatt be paid the applicable prevailing wage, demonstrating the State’s commitment to ensuring projects create quality, family-sustaining jobs for New Yorkers and planning for a just transition. Projects that have submitted their initial utility interconnection application prior to the filing of this Roadmap are proposed to be exempt from the new prevailing wage requirement.

Expanding the state’s solar goal is expected to have an average bill impact for New York customers of less than one percent, or approximately $0.71 per month for the average residence. The Roadmap is available for public comment on the Department of Public Service’s website and subsequent decision-making in 2022.

John Caravella Esq., is a construction attorney and formerly practicing project architect at The Law Office of John Caravella, P.C., representing architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, and owners in all phases of contract preparation, litigation, and arbitration across New York and Florida. He also serves as an arbitrator to the American Arbitration Association Construction Industry Panel. Mr. Caravella can be reached by email: or (631) 608-1346.

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Long Island Construction Law does not own this content. This content was created by Governor Hochul’s Office, and was published on December 17, 2021.