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Cuomo Announces $40 Million for Solar Powered Storage Project
New York Ag Connection - 10/11/2018

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Wednesday announced that $40 million will be made available to support solar projects that integrate energy storage, accelerating progress toward New York's energy storage target of 1,500-megawatts by 2025. These projects will build toward Governor Cuomo's mandate that 50 percent of the state's electricity come from renewable sources by 2030 to combat climate change and build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system.

"As we continue our aggressive pursuit of clean, renewable technologies, funding for projects like this will ensure New York remains at the forefront of the global fight against climate change," Governor Cuomo said. "The strategic pairing of energy storage and solar technologies moves us closer to building a clean energy economy that protects critical natural resources and benefits all New Yorkers."

"New York has taken historic steps to fast-track the development of renewable solar power with an energy storage component to meet market demand and create a more sustainable energy system," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This funding brings us one step closer to achieving our ambitious clean energy goals while investing in affordable innovative solutions that disrupt conventional utilities, create jobs, and reduce emissions to combat climate change."

Wednesday's announcement was made at the Alliance for Clean Energy - New York (ACE-NY) annual conference in Albany. This funding represents a continued commitment by the state to ensure the rapid growth of the evolving solar industry energy is paired with innovative storage technology that will significantly reduce emissions and provide additional benefits to the electric grid. As New York adds more renewable energy to the grid, storage will play an increasingly important role in improving the efficiency and reliability of the grid for all New Yorkers.

To help jumpstart New York's energy storage efforts, the NY-Sun program will make $40 million available in early November for the development of solar-plus-storage projects. This funding will accelerate the deployment of at least 50 megawatts of energy storage paired with solar, and reduce barriers to deployment of this clean energy technology associated with customer acquisition, siting, and interconnection.

These funds will be the first storage incentive funds made available since the release of the New York State Energy Storage Roadmap in June. By offering a new incentive for solar-plus-storage projects for the commercial and industrial sectors, including so-called community solar gardens, the storage component will ensure that renewable energy is shifted to times of highest customer usage, such as afternoon hours on summer days. Solar-plus-storage helps reduce consumer energy bills and improves the value of renewable energy to the grid. In addition, paired solar and storage systems can deliver lower costs to consumers by taking advantage of expiring federal tax credits, combining the permitting and interconnection processes, and utilizing less space by co-locating on the same sites.

Richard Kauffman, Chair of Energy and Finance for New York State said, "Energy storage will advance even more solar and other distributed energy resources across New York as it improves New York's electric grid and increases the use of renewable electric to power commercial and industrial businesses. Under Governor Cuomo, New York is building a clean energy economy by promoting innovative technologies under Reforming the Energy Vision and creating new business opportunities while lowering the costs of renewable energy and combatting climate change."

To ensure that communities are informed about the benefits of co-locating storage with solar systems and prepared to review the zoning and local tax implications of these projects, NYSERDA will be performing outreach to communities where projects are proposed and will be providing technical resources, including adding an energy storage chapter to the solar guidebook for communities.

John B. Rhodes, CEO, New York State Department of Public Service said, "Solar-plus-storage projects are a solution whose time has come, as they enhance the value of solar while making energy storage cleaner. This strategic investment from the Clean Energy Fund will accelerate the development and deployment of a variety of energy storage systems and spur future market innovation."

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, "Since its inception, NY-Sun has advanced and completed thousands of projects across the state, bringing us closer to meeting New York's renewable energy goals by 2030. By pairing solar and storage projects the state will accelerate our pace of progress towards Governor Cuomo's aggressive renewable energy and energy storage targets at even lower costs."

In his 2018 State of the State address, Governor Cuomo announced a 1,500 megawatt energy storage target by 2025 to put New York on a path toward a larger 2030 target to be announced in late 2018. In June, NYSERDA and the Department of Public Service, in conjunction with stakeholders, developed the New York State Energy Storage Roadmap to identify the most promising policies, regulations, and initiatives needed to realize the Governor's ambitious 2025 energy storage target. The NY Green Bank also has available an RFI to solicit interest from project developers on how it can address financing gaps and support energy storage projects. NY Green Bank seeks to invest at least $200 million in storage related-investments, which will help drive down costs for the strategic deployment of energy storage at scale.

NY-Sun is Governor Cuomo's $1 billion investment to build a self-sustaining solar market and solar industry in New York State. The program has already completed 85,327 solar projects with a total capacity of 1,203.2 MW and an expected annual production of 1,395GWh - the equivalent to powering nearly 200,000 homes or taking nearly 160,000 cars off the road. With over 4,437 in the pipeline, NY-Sun is supporting the tremendous growth in the solar sector and has positioned New York as third nationally for residential and non-residential solar installations year-to-date.

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