Clearway Energy Group took a step forward in increasing access to solar to customers when it was awarded two community solar contract awards under New York’s “Solar for All” program. The awards build on Clearway’s position in community solar as the company continues to push for new ways to offer the benefits of solar to as many people as possible.
Administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s $1 billion NY-Sun program, the Solar for All initiative offers eligible low-income households the opportunity to subscribe to a community solar project in their area without any upfront costs or fees. By enabling consumers to subscribe to a local community solar project, these projects increase access to solar for customers who couldn’t have otherwise received the benefits of solar—whether their roof is not ideal for solar panels or because they could not afford it in the first place.
“Community Solar has the potential to unlock access to clean energy for millions of New Yorkers across the state,” said Clearway’s VP of community solar, Drew Warshaw. “We are grateful for Governor Cuomo’s commitment to a clean energy future, we are thankful to the team at NYSERDA for developing a model program; and we are excited to start serving the many customers who will directly benefit from this effort and get us that much closer to making solar an option for all.”
NYSERDA included two of Clearway’s Hudson Valley Community Solar projects among the first awards of the Solar for All program: Crans Mills, a 2.8-MW solar project in Crawford; and Underhill, a 3.0-MW project in Poughkeepsie. The awards were made for 1 MW of capacity of each project. Together, these two projects will serve approximately 2,000 low income households through Solar for All.
“Investing in new innovative ways to help all New Yorkers transition to renewable and affordable solar is a cornerstone of Governor Cuomo’s clean energy and climate goals,” said Alicia Barton, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “Clearway’s Solar for All projects will help provide the Hudson Valley’s most underserved families with access to free community solar, thereby reducing their electricity bills, reducing harmful emissions, and creating a clean, more sustainable energy system for all.”
Eligibility (www.nyserda.ny.gov/solarforall) for Solar for All is based on a resident’s location, household income and annual electric usage.
From 2015 to date, nearly 15,000 community solar customers have signed up through Clearway and its predecessor NRG Community Solar, with community solar offered to customers in New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Colorado and soon in Illinois.
The contracts awarded to Clearway through NYSERDA’s Solar for All program are among the first in a series of awards under the program to provide access to no-cost community solar to 10,000 low-income New Yorkers. NYSERDA will launch a second round of the program in 2019, which will expand the number of households and areas served by the program.