This post was originally published on the Here Comes Solar blog, and was written by Affordable Solar Program Manager Anika Wistar-Jones.
It’s finally here, the dream of solar enthusiasts all over the city: solar for apartments. For years, while single-family homeowners have been installing solar right and left, New Yorkers have clamored for solar that fits the city lifestyle where most people don’t own their apartments, let alone the roof several floors above them. So New York State made it possible to participate in what’s called “Community Shared Solar”, where one large array – in a field or on a warehouse roof – can send solar credits to anyone in the same utility zone. After months of planning and building, for the first time, this is possible in New York City, and you can join now.
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Solar One, GRID Alternatives Tri-State and Co-op Power today announced the launch of Affordable Solar New York. The nonprofit initiative will bring low-cost solar power to affordable housing providers in New York, which provide critical housing and services to low-income residents. Solar can significantly reduce energy costs for both operators and tenants, yet up-front costs, credit scores and complex financing remain significant barriers for this sector to access the technology.
Affordable Solar New York will address these barriers by providing no-cost technical assistance, reduced-cost installation and zero-down financing options to Housing Development Fund Corporation cooperatives and other affordable housing providers in New York City. Projects will include both job training and energy efficiency education opportunities for residents.
“To reach Mayor de Blasio’s landmark OneNYC vision for a more sustainable, equitable, and resilient New York City, all New Yorkers will need the ability to tap into the cost and energy saving benefits that solar energy can provide,” said Mark Chambers, Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “I applaud Solar One, GRID Alternatives, and Co-op Power on the launch of Affordable Solar New York, an important step toward a more inclusive energy landscape in New York City.”
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“We’re very committed to creating jobs,” City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito declared to 26 green job trainees at Solar One’s Workforce Training Lab on Monday. She was joined by the City Council Majority Leader, Jimmy Van Bramer, and Council Member Donovan Richards, Chair, Committee on Environmental Protection.
“We must all do our part to make New York a more sustainable City. The Solar One Workforce training program provides needed green job training skills to New Yorkers, and I’m proud to support this important initiative,” the Speaker told our trainees as she toured our lab in Long Island City.
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March is Women’s History Month, which is a good excuse to bring up the contributions of women to the industry that’s creating jobs nearly 20 times faster than the economy as a whole in the US– solar power.
From teaching workshops about solar installation to running major solar corporations, women have earned their place at the solar industry table.
Keep reading to learn about Women in Cleantech & Sustainability‘s list of the top 10 women working in solar.
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The Solar Foundation (TSF), an independent nonprofit research and education organization, just released its New York Solar Jobs Census. The district-level Census found that New York’s solar industry employed 7,284 New Yorkers in 2014 and added nearly 2,100 solar jobs over the previous year. New York’s 40% solar industry employment growth allowed it to move to 4th in rankings of highest number of solar jobs by state. Solar employment in New York grew nearly 40 times faster than the state’s employment growth rate of 1.1 percent during the same period.
To read the full report, click here.