- New York's community solar program has led to an impressive pipeline of proposed projects, some 1.8 GW deep, though analysts for GTM Research say there are no currently operating projects and only about 125 MW of that is expected to be ultimately constructed.
- In June, the Coalition for Community Solar Access and several other renewable and environmental groups petitioned the New York Public Service Commission to get the stalled community program working. It was developed last year, but so far not a single project has come online.
- Greentech Media notes New York's interconnection queue is inefficient and expensive, contributing to the backlog of community solar projects.
Community solar is supposed to be the innovation that brings renewable energy to renters, low-income customers and apartment-dwellers. But in New York, a program approved by regulators last year appears to have stalled. While there are almost 2 GW of capacity proposed, GTM Research breaks down the numbers to show no projects have been completed and most will never break ground.
Orange & Rockland has about 475 MW of proposed projects; Central Hudson has almost 900 MW in its queue. But overall, GTM said it anticipates just over 100 MW of those and more proposals will be constructed. In addition to some projects with feasibility issues, the community solar interconnection process is lengthy and complicated, especially when compared to other states.
CCSA was joined by the the Sierra Club, the New York Solar Energy Industries Association, Vote Solar, Pace Energy and Climate Center, the Alliance for Clean Energy New York and other groups, in lobbying regulators "to put the state’s stalled Community Distributed Generation program back on track."
The groups have asked the Public Service Commission for clarity on customer credit in the short-term to allow projects to start, while regulators evaluate program design options as part of New York's Reforming the Energy Vision initiative.
New York's shared renewables program program extends the state's net energy metering policy to centrally-located solar arrays and other types of renewable generation of up to 2 MW. The program was approved last July.