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New York Power Authority and Westchester County seek developers to help install solar/energy storage systems

Published: 1 April 2021 - Rachael Morling

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) and Westchester County under the Community Distributed Generation (CDG) Partnership Program are seeking developers to install solar PV and energy storage systems for more than three dozen municipalities and school districts within the county. Initial analysis shows that the program has the potential to develop more than 35 MW of solar at more than 100 sites, increasing the supply of clean, renewable energy into the electric grid and providing electric utility bill savings to participating local community members. 

“This partnership provides a streamlined way for governments, schools and non-profits to directly support renewable energy development for their constituencies, while benefiting financially and supporting local and state environmental goals,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “Working with Westchester County, we are advancing New York State’s commitment to fighting climate change by helping communities overcome hurdles and bringing the benefits of solar to many who may not have the resources or expertise to install their own panels.”
 
In collaboration with Westchester County and Sustainable Westchester, which will provide subscription management services, the Authority will help numerous public entities lead by example in meeting their own renewable energy and emissions reductions goals, while also helping achieve the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) implementation targets of 3,000 MW of energy storage and 6,000 MW of distributed solar PV, working towards 70% renewable energy by 2030.
 
County Executive George Latimer said, “Government works best when government works together. This initiative, in partnership with NYPA, will allow Westchester communities to lead by example and harness the power that clean energy can generate. Through efforts like this we can build a clean climate future for all of us - and save hardworking taxpayer funds at the same time.”
 
Twenty-five municipalities and eight school districts have submitted more than 100 sites for consideration to date, and the program remains open for new applications. Eligible sites include landfills, remediated brownfields or any other unused land parcel for ground-mounted systems, parking lots or garages for canopy mounts, and roof tops. NYPA’s Clean Energy Solutions team will provide strategic, technical, and other assistance to program participants to support implementation of CDG projects at their sites.
 
CDG projects allow electricity customers to subscribe into the projects and receive utility bill credits.
 
Solar Developers Sought in Westchester County
NYPA issued a request for proposals this week seeking developers of photovoltaic systems who would design, install, finance, own, operate and maintain solar photovoltaic and/or energy storage systems at project sites across Westchester County. Selected developers will negotiate agreements with program participants and work to develop viable CDG projects that involve no upfront costs to NYPA, the County, or program participants, and provide utility bill credits to eligible subscribers at competitive rates that create net cost savings for them. Proposals are due the first week of May 2021.
 
NYPA and the County along with Sustainable Westchester held a symposium in Feb. 2020 to inform local governments, school districts and not-for-profit agencies about the benefits of community solar and encourage participation in an aggregated portfolio for a cost-effective way to provide more renewable energy. Interested entities have since provided potential host sites that the Authority has conducted preliminary feasibility assessments of and identified opportunities for solar and energy storage deployment.
 
The initiative is part of NYPA’s new statewide Community Solar and Storage Program which will allow households, schools, and businesses to buy into a renewable project in their area, get credit on their monthly utility bills, and help the state increase the supply of clean, renewable energy into the electric grid. NYPA’s 2025 community solar target sets an overall goal of 75 megawatts of renewable capacity that includes 15 MW of paired battery storage.
 
Selected developers for the CDG partnership program will be asked to partner with Sustainable Westchester, a non-profit whose members comprise 45 municipalities within the county, to acquire and manage subscribers to CDG projects developed through the program. Sustainable Westchester administers several renewable energy initiatives, including New York State’s first community choice aggregation program, Westchester Power, and has provided customer acquisition services to numerous developers through local outreach campaigns for more than 20 megawatts of CDG projects. 
 
Nina Orville, Sustainable Westchester executive director, said, “Sustainable Westchester is pleased to bring the benefits of community solar to our municipalities and their communities through this innovative partnership with NYPA and Westchester County. With revenue opportunities for our municipalities and schools, savings for residents who subscribe, and new local renewable energy generation -- everyone benefits.”  
 
For more information or to express interest in participating as a developer or community, email solar@nypa.gov.


 
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