June 4, 2014 | Media Release
CUNY Announces Solarize Huntington and Solarize Brooklyn CB6
(June 3, 2014) At the 8th annual NY Solar Summit convened by the City University of New York (CUNY), New York’s power leaders along with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) highlighted the rapidly growing solar market across New York State and the resulting influence on the economy, consumers, regional installers and leading utility companies. The Summit focused on NYSolar Smart, a comprehensive strategic program developed by CUNY that is supported by both Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun Initiative and the U.S. DOE SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge II aimed at reducing the costs of installing solar.
NYSERDA President John B. Rhodes gave the morning keynote to a record breaking crowd of solar stakeholders. “The New York Solar Summit provides a great opportunity for those involved in New York’s solar industry to exchange ideas and advance our work in this state,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “Under Governor Cuomo, the State is developing innovative market solutions to expand the deployment of renewable energy, and with initiatives like NY-Sun, the State continues to demonstrate its commitment to fully capturing the energy and economic potential of the clean energy economy.”
DOE’s SunShot Initiative Director Minh Le led an animated discussion with New York’s leading utility companies, including: David Daly, President PSEG Long Island, Kenneth Daly, President, National Grid New York, Craig Ivey the President of Consolidated Edison New York, James Laurito, the President of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp and Mark Lynch the President of NYSEG and RG&E. “NY Solar Smart and the utilities here today have demonstrated serious commitment and leadership to increase solar deployment across the Empire State,” said Minh Le, leader of the DOE SunShot Initiative. “They are making it easier, faster, and more affordable for New Yorkers to choose solar-creating jobs and economic growth, and cutting carbon pollution to meet our nation’s clean energy goals. Through SunShot, the Energy Department is actively working with on-the-ground partners across the country to develop the innovative solutions that will drive solar market growth in the U.S.”
John McAvoy, Chairman of Con Edison Board of Directors introduced afternoon keynote Audrey Zibelman, NY Public Service Commission Chair, who highlighted the new initiative unveiled by the Governor known as Reforming the Energy Vision, or REV for short. “The Commission recognizes the substantial opportunities that solar power offers residential and commercial customers to reduce electricity bills and improve the environment,” said Audrey Zibelman. “By fundamentally restructuring the way utilities and energy companies sell electricity, New York can maximize the utilization of resources, and reduce the need for new infrastructure through expanded demand management, energy efficiency, renewable energy, distributed generation, and energy storage programs.”
Tria Case, CUNY’s University Director of Sustainability and lead implementer for NYSolar Smart, announced two new ‘Solarize’ projects at the Summit. “Across the country communities have caught on to grouping together to purchase solar at a discount price; organize to solarize,” said Case. “Under our Department of Energy efforts, our Solar Ombudsman will now be working with Solarize Huntington and Solarize Community Board 6 in Brooklyn. I commend the leadership in those communities for stepping forward and being proactive in finding ways to provide clean renewable energy to their neighbors as well as local jobs.”
“Huntington is proud to be a partner in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Rooftop Solar Challenge II and has launched NYSolar Smart Solarize Huntington as a demonstration of our continuing effort to improving the quality of life for residents by promoting clean energy,” said Huntington Supervisor Frank P. Petrone. “By using group purchasing power, solar installations will be more affordable for residents of Huntington.”
“Clean energy is not only good for the environment, it’s good for the household budget too,” said a Brooklyn Community Board 6 spokesperson. “We’re pleased to partner with NYSolar Smart Solarize to promote the power of group purchasing making clean energy more affordable for the residents of our district.”
Afternoon panels detailed projects underway through NYSERDA such as NYC Grid Ready and SunShares, as well as NYPA’s Solar Market Acceleration Program. “The New York Power Authority has committed $30 million over a five-year period to reduce the cost of solar generation deployment across New York,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “Through that effort, NYPA is working under Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative to lower the balance of system costs for solar and streamline permitting.”
The Summit closed with a fast-paced Pitch Session to a panel of judges led by Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance, Office of the Governor. The competing companies presented new financing mechanisms and innovative business models aimed at reducing the balance of system soft costs of solar photovoltaics. The audience joined the judges in voting BlocPower the winner for their model program that leverages national networks of community and affinity-based organizations to aggregate solar and energy efficiency projects in underserved communities and match blocs of projects with low-interest-rate impact capital.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority along with Consolidated Edison were prime sponsors of the New York Solar Summit, with additional support by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative Rooftop Challenge II and a host of other supporters. Sponsor List