New York’s Distributed Solar Roadmap Aims at an Additional 4 GW by 2030

The solar goal is likely to have an average bill impact of less than a dollar a month for electricity consumers


The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York State Department of Public Service (DPS) have submitted a comprehensive roadmap to expand the state’s successful NY-Sun initiative into one of the nation’s most extensive and cost-effective solar programs.

In her statement while announcing the new set of policy recommendations last month, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said that the state plans to expand the distributed solar capacity by 4 GW, achieving its 10 GW target by 2030, enough to annually power nearly 700,000 homes and generate an additional 6,000 jobs in the industry.

As per the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) mandate, the state is expected to generate 70% of its electricity from renewables by 2030.

The program is expected to cost approximately $1.47 billion, which will be collected from the electricity ratepayers at the cost of $0.00082/kWh over 11 years from 2022 through 2032.

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. This rate will vary by year based on expenditures, and the consumers can expect an increase of up to $0.92 per month.

According to the NYSERDA, the state already has a 6 GW of solar capacity, either installed or officially in the pipeline, as a part of the first phase of this energy procurement program. The remaining incremental 4 GW capacity is expected to be built using approximately $4.4 billion additional private investment.

NYSERDA and DPS plan to implement multiple strategies to deploy the 10 GW distributed solar power capacity target, like projects under 5 MW in size, rooftop installations, and community solar projects, as a part of the state’s transition to a clean energy economy.

The roadmap recommends a geographical and segment-based breakdown of incentive blocks for the incremental 4 GW target. The Con Edison area target is set at 150 MW each from residential, small, and large commercial projects. The upstate target from commercial and industrial (C&I) is at 2.9 GW and 607 MW in Long Island and upstate unincentivized projects.

The program expansion will also deliver at least 35% of the benefits with a goal of 40% from the investments to statutorily defined disadvantaged communities and low to moderate-income New Yorkers.

According to the latest US Solar Market Insight report published by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie, the U.S. solar market installed a record of 5.7 GW of solar capacity in Q2 2021 alone. It is expected to add an average of over 29 GW of solar capacity annually through 2026.

To align with the Biden administration’s new clean energy goals, the SEIA also recently increased its target for Solar+ Decade to account for 30% of overall power generation in the U.S. by 2030.