Cuomo: WNY Sees Burst In Solar Projects

Western New York has seen a 583 percent increase in solar projects over the past six years, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

Statewide, solar power in New York increased more than 1,000 percent from December 2011 to December 2017, leveraging more than $2.8 billion in private investment into New York’s growing clean energy economy.

“Solar is a vital part of this state’s clean energy future and we have experienced unprecedented growth in this new sector,” Cuomo said. “We will continue to support the development of solar, helping to spur economic growth, creating new jobs and helping to build a cleaner, greener and more sustainable New York for all.”

The statistics were released recently during a visit by Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul at McKinley High School in Buffalo, where she lauded what is the largest state-supported solar project in a school district in New York state. The 19 solar installations at Buffalo Public Schools total nearly 3 megawatts.

Projects are installed and operational at 18 locations with the one remaining solar project expected to be operational in the coming months. In total, the projects are anticipated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1,700 metric tons annually, the equivalent to removing more than 370 cars from the road.

The more than 1,000 percent solar growth in the state over the last six years was supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority through the $1 billion NY-Sun program, the New York Power Authority, and Long Island Power Authority. 972.2 megawatts (78,323 solar projects) were installed through the end of December 2017, compared with 83 megawatts (8,989 projects) through the end of 2011.

The current projects produce enough electricity that would be sufficient to meet the needs of more than 159,000 average homes.