About the Central New York Regional Solar Initiative
This initiative was created as part of the Central New York Energy Challenge program with funding under NYSERDA PON 2672 and is supported by the national Solar Roadmap Initiative with funding from the US Department of Energy. SOLARIZE CNY is a collaborative public-sector project, led by the Central New York Regional Planning & Development Board (CNYRPDB) with Independent technical assistance provided by Optony. Participating government agencies across the region will work together within a common approach for deploying clean energy to drive new installed solar system capacity, increase local economic activity, and improve the regional environment. There is no up-front cost to participate in this program.
Participants: This program is open to any municipalities and special districts that want to unlock their potential for solar energy at their facilities and enable regional economic growth. The area covered by this regional initiative includes the cities, towns and villages within Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, and Oswego Counties in New York State.
Approach: This initiative is based on a proven model that has been successfully deployed around the country. By aggregating regional efforts to identify and develop solar project sites, significant benefits are realized for participating agencies – both individually and as a group.
- Average project cost reductions of 10-15%
- Market-leading contract terms through group negotiation
- Savings of up to 75% in administrative and transaction costs
- Accelerated achievement of clean energy goals
- Increased economic activity in the clean energy sector
- New energy infrastructure investments
Roles & Responsibilities:
- CNYRPDB: As a respected regional organization and convener of public and private sector organizations, CNYRPDB will oversee the entire project, bring together key stakeholders, organize training and workshops on important topics for participants, measure progress and communicate major milestones and success. CNYRPDB will also act as the Lead Agency for procurement to minimize time and costs for participating agencies and ensure broad regional support.
- Technical Advisors: Optony, as an independent technical expert consulting firm, will provide technical and logistical support to facilitate public participants’ assessment of solar potential, provide procurement management services, and evaluate vendor proposals using national best practices.
Initiative Timeline: The initiative began in September 2014 and will have quarterly checkpoints on progress and reports to regional stakeholders. Based on available resources and participant engagement, on-the-ground project construction could start as early as mid-2016.
Current Progress – July 2015: Project funding has been secured and the outreach and recruiting phase has been completed. 28 municipal agencies across the region have submitted 110 sites for consideration. The technical analysis of each site is underway, with the goal of finalizing the participating site list in Q3 2015. Site visits and workshops for participating agencies are being planned for Q3, with the goal if issuing the RFP in Q4 2015.
Ideal Timing For Regional Solar Project Success:
- Solar incentives for larger projects are at peak levels under the new MW Block program
- Federal tax credits and depreciation benefits are scheduled to ramp-down by the end of 2016
- Solar project costs are at an all-time low statewide
- Various cost-effective financing options are available for the public sector
- NYSERDA and DOE funding has been provided to reduce costs for participants
SOLARIZE CNY Contacts:
Chris Carrick, Energy Program Manager
CNY Regional Planning & Development Board
Thomas Yurysta, Senior Project Manager
For more information about efforts across the region, visit the following webpages: