CUNY’s NYSolar Smart Project Wins U.S. Department of Energy Award for New York State

November 25, 2013

New York State has won a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge II award to support NYSolar Smart: a project to streamline the solar installation process in the state and lower the cost of solar using innovative financing mechanisms and information technology (IT) solutions. NYSolar Smart, which was developed by the City University of New York (CUNY) under the Governor’s NY-Sun Initiative, will create a toolkit of policies, programs and resources to enable cities and towns, utilities, industry and residents to reduce the time and cost of installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that provide electricity on-site at homes, businesses and other buildings. These tools include virtual net-metering guidelines for master-metered buildings, group purchasing programs and model zoning ordinances. In addition, IT tools developed under this award encompass web-accessible permitting, solar maps, market analytics, and a pilot for a customizable online customer acquisition system and a one-stop PV market portal. These efforts build upon the NYPA-supported New York State Solar Map currently under development by CUNY.  DOE Media Release       NYS Media Release      NYSolar Smart RSC II Partners

Through the NYSolar Smart program CUNY previously worked with NYSERDA and NYPA to develop the NYS Unified Solar Permit aimed at reducing costs for solar projects under 12 kW by streamlining municipal permitting processes. CUNY’s NYSolar Smart program surveyed municipal officials across New York State to understand their photovoltaic (PV) permitting costs, procedures and issues, as well as to develop the permit. Municipalities that adopt the unified permit and procedures are eligible for between $2,500 and $5,000, depending on population, through the New York State Cleaner, Greener Communities program to implement the new procedures. CUNY, NYSERDA and NYPA are currently conducting regional workshops across the state to encourage municipalities to adopt the permit.

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