Just a week after Governor Cuomo announced the first round of awards under the NY-Sun Competitive PV program, the Governor is back at it announcing that $13.5 million will be made available to help reduce the overall cost of installing solar, specifically non-module costs. The combination of these announcements represents a one-two punch for taking on market barriers to solar development.
Funded through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA), $10 million will be directed towards projects that reduce the balance-of-system (BOS) costs for solar PV. For markets across the U.S., permitting, interconnection, and customer-acquisition are adding unnecessary installation costs to going solar, and New York State is no different. Specifically, this program will help to support innovative solar business models as well as streamlining of permitting and interconnection costs, all in an effort to reduce BOS costs.
The Governor’s NY-Sun strategy is well conceived – drive solar demand through competitive incentive programs, such as the Competitive PV program, and follow through with programs to take down BOS costs. With a long-term commitment to transform New York’s solar market, this game plan could offer the knockout blow to persistent market barriers.
As we’ve reported before, there is tremendous opportunity to reduce the soft costs of solar installations. With the low cost of solar modules today, programs focused on soft cost issues will be critical for driving down the cost of solar even more. But these programs won’t do it alone. As Governor Cuomo has recognized, successful BOS programs must be coupled with strong market demand for solar deployment – the one, two combination that is.
This is no lightweight, amateur bout – the Governor is serious about transforming New York into a national solar powerhouse. In his 2013 State of the State address, Cuomo proposed extending the NY-Sun program through 2023 to provide the longer-term program certainty for solar developers and their customers.
Memorializing the Governor’s 10-year NY-Sun proposal will cement the state’s position as a national leader on solar, and promises to deliver more than 2,200 MW of clean, job creating solar across New York. Coupled with initiatives to take on BOS costs, a 10-year NY-Sun program would be well positioned to claim a national solar title.
“Down go solar costs!!”
We’ll see if the pols in Albany can get this right. I have a front row seat.
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