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Municipal Solar Initiatives

State and local government agencies spend more than $10 billion a year on energy to provide public services and meet constituent needs. Local Governments can play a key role in reducing their communities' energy use, costs, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and encourage the development of renewable energy by leading by example and putting in place tools and regulations supporting clean energy development.


The Central New York Regional Planning & Development Board (CNY RPDB) provides many services to municipalities to assist in solar PV installation, including collaborative procurement programs for municipalities and the community that help to reduce solar installation and administrative costs.

Solarize CNY: Municipalities

Installation of a 62 kW solar array on the Skaneateles Village Hall

The CNY RPDB has initiated a regional collaborative procurement program, called Solarize CNY, which has aggregated and consolidated municipal procurement of solar PV systems for municipalities in the five county region.


This initiative was created as part of the Central New York Energy Challenge program with funding under NYSERDA PON 2672 and is supported by the national Solar Roadmap Initiative with funding from the US Department of Energy. Solarize CNY is a collaborative public‐sector project, led by the CNY RPDB with Independent technical assistance provided by Optony Inc.


These initiatives have occurred in other forms across the country providing benefits including:


  • Average project cost reductions of 10‐15%

  • Market‐leading contract terms through group negotiation

  • Savings of up to 75% in administrative and transaction costs

  • Accelerated achievement of clean energy goals

  • Increased economic activity in the clean energy sector

  • New energy infrastructure investments

24 participating government agencies across the region are working together within a common approach for deploying clean energy to drive new installed solar system capacity, increase local economic activity, and improve the regional environment. This program has the potential to triple the amount of solar installed in CNY, with over 40 MW of solar potential. The installer chosen for this project is Abundant Solar, who was chosen after a rigorous review of the 12 RFP respondents. 

As a respected regional organization and convener of public and private sector  organizations, the CNY RPDB is overseeing the entire project, bringing together key stakeholders, organizeing training and workshops on important  topics  for  participants, measuring  progress,  and  communicating  major  milestones  and  success. CNY RPDB is also acting as the Lead Agency for procurement to minimize time and costs for participating agencies and ensure broad regional support.


Optony Inc., as an independent technical expert consulting firm, has provided technical and logistical support to facilitate public participants’ assessment of solar potential, provide procurement management services, and evaluate vendor proposals using national best practices.

On May 25, 2017, the CNY RPDB invited the Abundant Solar team, including Panasonic Eco-Solutions and Nixon Peabody, to meet with and present to the Solarize CNY Participating Organizations. Abundant was able to explain their unique fully integrated business model, working at all stages of solar projects from origination to power production and ongoing operations, and how they will be working with Solarize CNY Participating Organizations moving forward. To view the slides from this presentation, click here.


For more information, contact Amanda Mazzoni at 315-422-8273 ext 1215 or by e-mail at

Additional Resources


  • Optony Collaborative Procurement website


  • National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) Collaborative Procurement website


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