Solar in New York State

NYSOct2015Currently, New York State ranks 4th in the country for solar jobs. As of November 2014, New York employs 7,284 solar workers, at higher than average solar wages, representing a 39.8% increase in employment over the previous year.*

As of October 2015, solar is providing over 492 MW of power in New York State, with over 100 MW of solar in the queue, adding billions to the New York State economy. Additional kilowatts and perhaps even megawatts are being generated within New York from solar farms as well as from citizens who install solar off-grid and without incentives.

NY-Sun Initiative

The NY-Sun Initiative is part of Governor Cuomo’s commitment to protect the environment and lower energy costs for all New Yorkers by improving the efficiency and reliability of the electric grid.

In the first two years of NY-Sun, a total of 316 megawatts (MW) of solar electric had been installed or was under contract, which is more than was installed in the entire prior decade. In April 2014, following those two successful years, Governor Cuomo made a historic commitment of nearly $1 billion to NY-Sun.

NYSolar Smart

The NYSolar Smart plan is a strategic effort led by the City University of New York (CUNY) that supports both the Department of Energy SunShot Initiative and the NY-Sun Initiative and works in partnership with NYPA, NYSERDA,  municipalities around the state, and more than 30 organizations representing utility companies, installers, government agencies and industry leaders. Since 2006 CUNY has led the implementation of multiple state and federal solar grants and was awarded funding through DOE’s SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge II to implement solutions to lower the soft costs of installing solar across New York State.   NYSolar Smart Partners | Map of Partner Jurisdictions






With more than 18,000 jurisdictions in the U.S. and little or no standardized national or state solar permitting processes, a wide variety of procedures exists. New York is no exception. Many installation companies face frustration with the lack of uniformity, layers of paperwork and different permitting processes across the many jurisdictions in which they do business, which contributes to higher costs. In turn, local agencies and utilities struggle to accommodate a growing industry while dealing with a lack of staff and often limited coordination between agencies and utilities.

Since 2007 Sustainable CUNY has led, on behalf of NYC, comprehensive federal solar initiatives designed to support large scale solar energy market growth in NYC and is now expanding it's efforts across the State. The result to-date in NYC is a tenfold increase in solar production, a quadrupling of solar installation companies, and the innovative use of technologies such as GIS and LiDAR to create the world’s largest interactive solar map for NYC’s one million rooftops.

Further, as climate change continues to dramatically impact New York, Sustainable CUNY is working with its partners to incorporate solar power into emergency and resiliency planning. Smart Distributed Generation Hub- Emergency Power

For more information please contact the NYS Solar Ombudsmen. 

* Source:The Solar Foundation NY Solar Job Census / ; 2014 data:  NYSERDA, LIPA Incentive Data, LI Solar Farm, NYPA & Con Edison