The governor of the state of New York, Andrew M. Cuomo, announced Wednesday a support of $40 million for solar projects that integrate energy storage, accelerating progress toward New York's energy storage target of 1,500 megawatts by 2025.
The announcement was made at the Alliance for Clean Energy - New York (ACE-NY) annual conference in Albany, according to a statement on the state's website.
The $40 million funding will be available in early November for the development of solar-plus-storage projects under the NY-Sun program -- Cuomo's $1 billion investment to build a self-sustaining solar market and solar industry in the state.
According to the statement, these projects will support Cuomo's mandate to have 50 percent of the state's electricity from renewable sources by 2030 to combat climate change and build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system.
"This funding will accelerate the deployment of at least 50 megawatts of energy storage paired with solar, and reduce barriers to deployment of this clean energy technology associated with customer acquisition, siting, and interconnection," it said.
This move "represents a continued commitment by the state to ensure the rapid growth of the evolving solar industry energy is paired with innovative storage technology that will significantly reduce emissions and provide additional benefits to the electric grid," it added.
Cuomo said the state continued its "aggressive" pursuit of clean, renewable technologies, and funding for projects like this would ensure that New York remained at the forefront of the global fight against climate change.
"The strategic pairing of energy storage and solar technologies moves us closer to building a clean energy economy that protects critical natural resources and benefits all New Yorkers," he added.
According to the statement, these funds will be the first storage incentive funds made available since the release of the New York State Energy Storage Roadmap in June.
"By offering a new incentive for solar-plus-storage projects for the commercial and industrial sectors, including so-called community solar gardens, the storage component will ensure that renewable energy is shifted to times of highest customer usage, such as afternoon hours on summer days," it said.
According to the statement, solar-plus-storage helps reduce consumer energy bills and improves the value of renewable energy to the grid.
"In addition, paired solar and storage systems can deliver lower costs to consumers by taking advantage of expiring federal tax credits, combining the permitting and interconnection processes, and utilizing less space by co-locating on the same sites," it said.
The NY-Sun program has already completed 85,327 solar projects with a total capacity of 1,203 MW and an expected annual production of 1,395 gigawatt-hours - the equivalent to powering nearly 200,000 homes or taking nearly 160,000 cars off the road, according to the statement.
"With over 4,437 in the pipeline, NY-Sun is supporting the tremendous growth in the solar sector and has positioned New York as third nationally for residential and non-residential solar installations year-to-date," it added.
By Hale Turkes