Thanks in part to ARRA funding, solar energy capacity in New York City has increased 800 percent since 2007, with many more solar installations in the “pipeline.” This increase parallels the quadrupling of solar installation companies now doing business in NYC, demonstrating the economic benefits of enabling the solar market in this city of a million rooftops.
Six years ago, NYC had just one megawatt of installed solar power, and the local solar market faced extensive technical, administrative and policy barriers. A collaborative partnership, led by the City University of New York (CUNY), was formed that includes the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Together they are implementing a plan to systematically remove those barriers in order to support large-scale solar energy market growth. The partners have secured three consecutive U.S. Department of Energy grants, including an ARRA grant, that led to the development of five NYC Solar Empowerment Zones, NYC Solar Ombudsman, and the world’s largest LiDAR based map: the NYC Solar Map. The map utilizes 15 billion points of data to estimate the solar energy potential for every building in NYC. Since its launch in June of 2011, the map has received over 150,000 hits, serving as an interactive tool for New Yorkers by educating them about the costs, benefits, and payback periods of investing in solar installations for their properties.
City University of New York, NYC Economic Development Corporation and Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Sustainability, Solar Market Transformation