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SEIA, Vote Solar Applaud New York’s Bold Solar Initiatives

Press release: Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Albany, NY – SEIA and Vote Solar today congratulated Gov. Cuomo and the State of New York on their continued commitment to solar initiatives, which have significantly increased solar installations across the state, supported thousands of local jobs and increased energy resilience. The Governor confirmed that solar energy remains a priority for his administration in today’s 2014 State of the State address.

“New York State had a great year for solar in 2013. Under Gov. Cuomo’s strong leadership, we have seen New York’s solar investment increase exponentially, creating quality jobs, improving the environment and reducing red tape,” said Carrie Cullen Hitt, SEIA’s vice president for state affairs. “We look forward to working with his administration on the implementation of the next phase of NY-Sun, and on programs such as community solar, the Green Bank and other initiatives.”

“Gov. Cuomo’s NY-Sun Initiative was designed to do something remarkable: to transform the state’s energy landscape by building a strong solar industry and making solar a cost-effective energy option for more New Yorkers. It’s exciting to see that bold solar energy vision turn quickly into real opportunity under the Governor’s leadership. We look forward to continuing our work together in building a stronger, safer, solar-powered New York,” said Peter Olmsted, east coast policy advocate for Vote Solar.

Last year Gov. Cuomo committed to a 10-year extension of his NY-Sun Initiative, a public-private partnership designed to drive growth in the state’s solar industry and lower solar costs for all New Yorkers. Since its launch in 2012, NY-Sun has resulted in almost 300 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic capacity installed or under development, more than was installed in the entire decade prior to the program, according to the Governor’s office. The program also streamlines permitting processes, reducing costs for solar projects. A long-term extension of the program will build on NY-Sun’s early success and provide the policy certainty needed to build and sustain a world-class solar market in New York.

In December, the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) approved funding for the NY-Sun Initiative through 2015 and authorized the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to further enhance and expand the successful program through 2023. NYSERDA acted quickly, issuing a petition Monday to fund an impressive 3,000 MW statewide solar deployment goal and to transition NY-Sun to a transparent, market-based MW Block structure.

In 2013 the Governor also launched a $1 billion Green Bank focused on leveraging public dollars to mobilize private sector investment in the state’s clean energy economy. The Green Bank is expected to launch its initial product offerings in 2014.
SEIA and Vote Solar applaud Gov. Cuomo’s commitment to clean, renewable solar energy and look forward to working with the state on the implementation of the NY-Sun expansion, community solar, the Green Bank and future initiatives.

With enough solar to power more than 30,900 homes, New York currently ranks 12th in the country for installed solar capacity. There are more than 411 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in New York, employing more than 3,300 people.

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About SEIA:
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2014, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.

About Vote Solar:
Vote Solar is a non-profit grassroots organization working to foster economic opportunity, promote energy independence and address climate change by making solar a mainstream energy resource across the United States. Since 2002,Vote Solar has engaged at the state, local and federal levels to remove regulatory barriers and implement the key policies needed to bring solar to scale. www.votesolar.org

Media Contacts:
Samantha Page, SEIA Press Officer and Communications Manager, spage@seia.org (202) 556-2886
Rosalind Jackson, Director of Communications & Development, Rosalind@votesolar.org (415) 817-5061