Inclusive solar program to provide funding for community projects

The state of New York has launched the Inclusive Community Solar Adder program that will make $52.5 million available for community solar projects that support underserved New Yorkers and disadvantaged communities.

Projects funded through the program are expected to serve up to 50,000 low-to-moderate income households, affordable housing providers and facilities serving disadvantaged communities, which will receive energy savings from the renewable energy generated by community solar.

Administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the program provides an additional incentive for NY-Sun community solar projects that dedicate at least 20 percent of their project to low-to-moderate income households and disadvantaged communities. The program will increase access to community solar, help customers save at least 10 percent on their electric bills and reduce operating costs for affordable housing and nonprofits serving disadvantaged communities.

“As we build a more resilient grid, it’s of critical importance that we remove barriers and scale up access to clean, renewable energy resources for all New Yorkers,” said NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen Harris in a statement. “NYSERDA’s Inclusive Community Solar Adder program is unique in that it takes a two-pronged approach to increasing access to solar energy and cost savings by serving both families and affordable housing providers who support residents in disadvantaged communities.”

The program design was informed by a Request for Information issued by NYSERDA in December 2020, and by stakeholders who participated in a March 2021 webinar hosted by NYSERDA. Another webinar on the program will be held on July 28.

“The launch of the Inclusive Community Solar Adder program is a big step towards expanding the cost-savings and clean energy benefits of New York’s community solar program to low- and moderate-income residents,” said Coalition for Community Solar Access Northeast Regional Director Kaitlin Kelly O’Neill. “We are excited to see the hard work and commitment of NYSERDA resulting in a dedicated resource that further expands the accessibility of community solar projects for all the state’s energy consumers.”

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