New York City Crosses 100MW Solar Capacity Mark

Solar power in New YorkImage : Energy Matters

Residents and businesses in the Big Apple have collectively installed a whisker more than 101 megawatts of solar power capacity.

According to Con Edison, more than 9,700 projects have been completed to date. Combined, these installations are enough to power more than 15,000 homes.

Founded in 1823 as the New York Gas Light company, Con Edison  operates one of the world’s largest energy delivery systems and services most of New York City, aside from a small section of Queens. It delivers electricity to 9 million people via 151,000 kilometres of underground cables and close to 55,000 kilometres of overhead cables.

It’s a company that sees itself as one that listens to its customers and says it is working hard to provide cleaner, more efficient energy options.

Solar panels - New York City

Image : Energy Matters

“One of the most striking trends within the transformation of the energy industry is the move of customers to renewables,” said Matthew Ketschke, Con Edison’s vice president, Distributed Resource Integration. “We want clean energy, including solar, to be available for customers of all income levels and regardless of whether they live in a house or an apartment.”

Con Edison says it does its best to make the interconnection process as easy and quick as possible for those who install solar panels and does not require engineering review for systems under 25 kilowatts capacity.

With regard to its own operations in NYC, 40 kilowatts of solar panels are installed on the rooftop of Con Edison’s headquarters and the company has proposed other installations on its buildings. The electricity generated from these installations would be made available to Con Edison’s low-income customers.

While 100MW of solar in a city with the population of New York’s may not seem a huge amount, the Big Apple is just getting started.

In September last year, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio expanded solar targets for the city to 1,000 MW by 2030. Mayor de Blasio also set an energy storage target of 100 megawatt-hours (MWh) by 2020.

As in the city, solar has been catching on across the state.

Last month we reported government-supported solar power capacity across New York State had increased nearly 800 percent from December 2011 to the end of 2016.