Community Solar in New York’s Capital Region
Citizens are working with fellow citizens to bring solar energy into their communities. Today, volunteer “Solarize” campaigns are growing in popularity throughout the NY, giving both residents and businesses new options for installing solar power while saving money.
The Solarize framework, which was developed by the US Department of Energy (DOE), provides a variety of benefits, including:
Cost – Solarize campaigns lower the cost of solar for homeowners 10 to 20 percent by organizing bulk purchasing among dozens of community members to install solar from a selected installer.
Technical complexity – Both solar panels and the businesses that install them can vary in quality. By securing experts to review projects, Solarize campaigns provide an extra level of quality assurance.
Extended decision times – when individuals solicit proposals from several solar installers, it can be overwhelming. An individual can take months or even years to choose a solar installer. Solarize groups address this by securing an optimal installer and equipment, then making that solution and discounted pricing available for only three to four months.
Neighborhoods are strengthened – Solarize campaigns also encourage neighbors to get to know one another. As individual homeowners install solar power, neighbors are inspired by their example. Discussions among neighbors strengthen neighborhood bonds.
This year, New York State is providing resources for Solarize campaigns through the Community Solar NY program. These resources include marketing materials, software, technical assistance, funding and a community to share best practices to help projects succeed. Community Solar NY is part of Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative. This $1 billion program will advance the scale-up of solar and move the state closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. It is also an important strategy under the governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision plan, which seeks to create an energy grid that is clean, reliable, and affordable and one that can lead New York to path of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.
Following is a table of Solarize campaigns in New York’s Capital Region. Please follow-up with the campaign in your area to request a solar proposal for your home or small business, and/or to volunteer to make the campaign in your community a success!
Program Contacts by County
Albany County (Solarize Albany)
http://www.solarizealbany.org | firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Dave Hochfelder
Selected Installer: Apex
General status: The Solarize Team is focused on getting the word out about the program across Albany County. Volunteers are holding public presentations in an effort to reach as many people as they can. If you or your organization would like to schedule a presentation from Solarize Albany, please let them know. If you want to help Solarize Albany spread the word about solar in Albany County, contact Dave or come to the weekly Solarize meeting (Thursday, 6 to 8pm) at the Honest Weight Food Co-op, 100 Watervliet Avenue in Albany.
Schoharie County (Solar Works Schoharie)
Contact: Sandy MacKay | email@example.com
Selected Installer: Revolution Solar (http://revolutionsolarny.com/)
Solar Works Schoharie is continuing the successful program that they started in previous years.
Schenectady County (Solarize Schenectady)
Contact: Gary Lessard | firstname.lastname@example.org
Selected Installer: Solar Liberty
General status: After a thorough pre-qualification process initiated by a Request for Proposals (RFP) sent to all NYSERDA qualified solar developers, Solarize Schenectady County has selected Solar Liberty as the designated solar installer for their campaign. Residents and small businesses who sign up for solar installations by October 15, 2016 will be able to take advantage of the discounts for solar installations that we have secured through our campaign.