New York City
Where solar installations are located can be a valuable component of fully utilizing solar as a resource, especially on America’s largest grid. Sustainable CUNY began working with the U.S. Department of Energy, NYSERDA, Con Edison, the NYC Department of Buildings and other stakeholders in 2009 to identify areas where installing solar energy systems will provide the greatest benefits to NYC's electric distribution system. Originally known as ‘NYC Solar Empowerment Zones’, these zones were strategically selected geographical regions where solar power is most viable and beneficial from a technical standpoint including “day-peaking” energy usage profiles that conform closely to solar production. Targeted solar power development in the Zones has the ability to play a critical role in reducing peak demand while also potentially deferring or eliminating the need for costly upgrades to the electrical system that would increase electricity rates.
New York State
Utility companies across New York State, working with NYSERDA, have also now identified ‘Strategic Zones’ in their service territories where solar generation would provide the greatest benefits to their electric distribution systems. The NYC Solar Empowerment Zones are now folded under this NYSERDA program and will be known as Strategic Zones as well. Solar projects greater than 200 kW located in the Strategic Zones were eligible for an additional NYSERDA incentive above their competitive bid through the NY-Sun Competitive PV Program in 2013.
the NY Solar map and portal
Sustainable CUNY launched the comprehensive NY Solar Map and Portal on June 20, 2016. The map displays the statewide strategic zones in the map layers under 'utility strategic zones' and the portal contains all the latest information that can help you 'go solar' whether you live in NYC, Long Island or in upstate New York.