New York launches new solar initiative including jobs training for first responders


New York has launched a new $13.5 million solar initiative called NY-Sun which will support projects aimed at reducing the overall cost of installing photovoltaic (PV) solar electric systems and streamlining the inspection and permitting process for local officials.

Of the $13.5 million now available, $10 million will support efforts to lower the overall cost of non-module PV systems and $3.5 million will fund a two-year statewide effort to educate local officials and first responders.

$10 million will equally funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA), which will focus on projects that reduce PV balance-of-system (BOS) costs, which are all the upfront costs of the PV system except the module. BOS costs can account for more than half of total system costs, and include equipment and installation. The program will seek to maximize private leverage and demonstrate business models that could be adopted at scale by the marketplace. In addition, this program will advance streamlining the procedures for permitting and interconnection to reduce BOS costs. Projects will be selected on a competitive basis.

The state is offering several competitive opportunities under the initiative. In addition to the BOS project funding, NYSERDA is offering $3.5 million to support education and training on PV for local officials who might have a role in the permitting, inspection or approval of a PV system and for first responders who might encounter PV systems while fighting fires.

Proposals for education and training are June 6, 2013. For additional information about submitting a proposal, go to http://

The initiative follows an earlier $800 million funding injection into Solar, in addition to several tax incentives for companies working to develop the technology. As CivSource has reported, a regional task force in New England is working to push for bulk renewable energy procurement in an effort to cut costs and dependency on fossil fuels.

“Building a strong solar market in New York will take a top to bottom approach, and this NY-Sun investment does that,” said Sail Van Nostrand, President, New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA).