New York is one step closer to its goal of installing 10 gigawatts of solar energy by 2030 with a community solar access program that recently added four new rooftop sites in the greater New York City area. In addition to serving residents and businesses, the project will help reduce electricity costs for underserved communities.
Partners Ampion Inc., a Boston-based community solar subscription and revenue management company providing turnkey solutions for renewable energy developers, and UGE International, a New York-based developer that owns and operates community and commercial solar and battery storage projects, have joined together on these projects in the Big Apple with the goal of contributing to the state’s transition to clean energy sources.
The four rooftop community solar projects will generate 3.37 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, adding to the one-plus gigawatt worth of community solar projects installed as of March 2022.
“They will improve grid resiliency by adding clean energy to support the large electrical demand of the New York City area,” says Nate Owen, CEO of Ampion. “What’s great about these rooftop sites is that they didn’t require sourcing land to build.”
Roughly half of the electricity produced will be reserved for low- to moderate-income residents, who will get a 10%–15% discount on their monthly bill. With most customers seeing a 13% increase in their average monthly bill from 2021 to 2022, ensuring that LMI communities have access to affordable clean energy is important. The other half will benefit commercial subscribers. Ampion handles subscription management.
“For the vast majority of New York City residents and businesses, installing solar panels is not an option,” Owen observed. “These sites address this issue of access while bringing meaningful cost savings.”
It works like this: ConEdison customers enrolled in community solar are assigned to a solar farm and allotted a share of clean energy based on their electricity usage. Their bill will show a credit for the amount of energy produced by their share of the solar farm. The subscriber then receives a discount on their credits compared with the standard rate.
The sites, which are owned and operated by UGE, include the Spare Cube site in Peekskill, N.Y.; the Feldco site on Staten Island; the Conduit Avenue site on a warehouse rooftop in Queens; and a 1.3-megawatt project on a high-profile development in Queens. Together, they generate 2.76 megawatt of electricity. Owen predicted that three of the four sites will be fully operational this winter, and says the fourth is expected to be turned on by early summer.
“These projects not only generate clean energy, but also provide tangible financial benefits to underserved communities," said Nick Blitterswyk, CEO at UGE. “UGE is dedicated to empowering communities with clean and sustainable energy solutions.”
“The amount of electricity generated by these four rooftop installations is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 15 acres of U.S. forestland, underscoring UGE’s commitment to creating a greener, more equitable future,” Blitterswyk said.
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