Climate Week: Solar Power In NYC Nearly Quadrupled Since Mayor de Blasio Took Office and Administration Expands Target

September 26, 2016

Solar panels, NYC. Credit: Crain's New York

 

City's new target for solar capacity set to 1,000 MW by 2030 'enough to power more than 250,000 households.' 

City currently has 2,700 solar related jobs and will work to grow that number 

Also sets NYC's first energy storage deployment target of 100 MWh by 2020 to support resiliency during outages

 

NEW YORK—In celebration of Climate Week, Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that solar capacity has nearly quadrupled since the start of his Administration, and will provide 96 MW of electricity, compared to 25 MW at the beginning of the de Blasio Administration.

 

The Department of Buildings will issue permits for more than 3,000 solar panel installations this year alone and that will bring the citywide total to more than 8,000 installations in 2016. That is an increase from 1,819 installations at the start of the administration. This solar growth puts the City on track to meet its OneNYC goals of installing 100 megawatts (MW) of solar power on public buildings and spurring the installation of 250 MW on private buildings by 2025. 

Because of the role these targets play in catalyzing the city's solar market, Mayor de Blasio announced an expansion of the City's 2025 commitment to identify and remove barriers to solar adoption in order to facilitate over '1,000 MW of citywide solar capacity by 2030. 1,000 MW of solar capacity can meet the power needs of more than 250,000 households.

 

To ensure this renewable energy is available consistently, the Mayor also committed to the City's first ever energy storage deployment target ' 100 megawatt-hours (MWh) by 2020. One MWh is the amount of energy produced by a 1-MW power source, such as solar panels or wind turbines, operating continually over an hour. This target will help reduce reliance on the grid by making variable sources of energy production, such as solar panels, usable for more of the day. Energy storage also helps increase the City's resiliency by providing backup energy when the grid is offline.

 

With already more than 2,700 solar jobs in the city, the expanded solar capacity target will enable high-paying local job opportunities and solidify the city's position as a leading solar job hub in the northeast while extending access to clean energy for communities throughout the city. This solar target is an important step in fostering a dynamic and inclusive economy, and to develop an industry with a significant potential for new jobs and initiatives that provide more just environmental outcomes for all New Yorkers. Through an unprecedented emphasis on community energy solutions, the City will work to identify areas for community shared solar installations that enable renters and those without suitable rooftops to become solar adopters as well.

'As part of our OneNYC plan, and in order to meet our 80 x 50 goal, we made a commitment to install 100 MW of solar power on public buildings and 250 MW on private buildings by 2025,' said Mayor Bill de Blasio. 'I am happy to announce we're on track to meet that goal having quadrupled solar capacity since 2013. This rapid progress has inspired us to expand that goal to 1,000 MW of solar power citywide 'which has the potential to power more than 250,000 homes. There's only one New York, and we must do everything we can to ensure it's protected for future generations.'

 

'Two years ago, New York City became the largest city on the planet to commit to meeting an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.  And every day, we are pushing forward with the policies and investments that will be necessary to meet this aggressive and necessary goal.  One key approach has been setting aggressive targets, as we did with solar power, and working across agencies to meet those targets,' said Daniel Zarrilli, NYC's Senior Director for Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer.  'Today, we are excited to announce that solar power capacity has nearly quadrupled since 2013, driven by the City's regulatory reform and smart investments.  And we are pleased to build on this success now by expanding our commitment to powering the city with solar energy, and recognizing the role that energy storage will play in our future and supporting the growth of this critical technology with additional reforms.  These investments in renewable energy ' part of our OneNYC program ' are helping us to build a more sustainable, more resilient, and more equitable city.'

 

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