Solar Power Growth: 800% increase across NYS

Posted at 12:12 PM, Feb 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-21 12:12:00-05

New York's solar power has grown almost 800% over the last five years, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.

This growth brings the state closer to Governor Cuomo's standard for 50% of electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.

The increase in solar power leveraged a $1.5 billion private investment.

"New York is a national leader in clean energy, and the tremendous growth of the solar industry across this state demonstrates this renewal technology's increased accessibility and affordability for residents and businesses," said Governor Cuomo. "Our investments in this clean energy resource create jobs, reduce carbon emissions, support economic growth, and help build a cleaner, greener New York for all."

Through the end of 2016, 64,926 state-supported projects were installed, compared to 8,989 projects through the end of 2011. These projects total almost 744 megawatts of solar power installed. This is enough energy to meet the needs of more than 121,000 average homes.

The growth in solar power is due to the NY-Sun Megawatt block Incentive program, a decline in equipment prices and an increase in the number of installer businesses marketing solar energy to consumers.

The Southern Tier was part of a group of regions that saw the largest percentage increase in solar power. This includes Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties.

Western New York saw a 554% increase in megawatts installed from 2011 to 2016 and a 481% increase in projects installed in the same time period.

The Mohawk Valley saw the greatest increase with almost 1600% increase in megawatts installed and over 1000% increase in projects installed.