As fuel prices continue to climb, consumers—including real estate developers and building administrators—are looking for alternative ways to power their buildings while saving money. Solar power is one possible option for such consumers, but issues of practicality and expense have made it a stretch when it comes to workable energy alternatives.
It’s been almost 40 years since Jimmy Carter famously installed solar panels at the White House, hoping to lead by example. The 30 years that followed saw no decline in the steep price tag of solar technology. But the last ten have been different. The incentives for converting to solar thermal are not just about the environment anymore, but economic in nature. And now Carter isn't the only politician pushing for solar technology.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the NY-Sun initiative in 2012, with hopes of it increasing solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in New York. According to The NY-Sun initiative's website, the program enlists help from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the former LIPA (now owned by PSEG Long Island), and the New York Power Authority (NYPA), to ensure a coordinated, well-funded solar energy expansion plan. The current solar program is investing $800 million through 2015.
“The long-term commitment to solar energy represented by NY-Sun will make New York State a leader nationally in solar development,” Cuomo said of the initiative in his State of the State address last January. Cuomo also proposed an extension of annual funding through 2023.
The most prominent product of New York's push for solar expansion can be found atop a grocery wholesaler in Hunts Point in South Bronx. The project, which is the largest in New York City's history, houses 4,760 solar panels atop its roof. According to the New York Daily News, the panels are set to generate almost 2 million kilowatt hours of clean energy annually.