Renovus Solar

Historic Project Changes Energy Landscape of New York State

Posted by  //  February 1, 2016  //  Local Business

Just outside of Ithaca, a historic event took place this week that will forever change the energy landscape of the entire region. Renovus Solar completed the very first Solar Farm in New York State and in doing so, has eliminated the barriers that have kept many from making the switch to clean, sun-powered electricity. This revolutionary new model for solar could not have come at a better time, with Governor Cuomo’s announcement this week of the $5 billion Clean Energy Fund, created to grow our state’s clean energy economy over the next decade. Amongst other allocations, the Clean Energy Fund will re-invigorate our state’s solar rebate program. The future for cost-saving renewable energy solutions in New York State has never been brighter.

Solar Farms are a game-changer when it comes making affordable renewable energy more accessible than ever. Until now, solar has been limited to property-owners, effectively locking out 80% of the population. But even owning property doesn’t ensure the ease of going solar as many properties lack ample sunlight or space to house the amount of panels required to offset their energy consumption.

Now, if you pay an electricity bill to NYSEG, you can switch to solar and in most cases, save money doing so. Solar Farms are developed on sites that have ideal conditions for solar, designed to hold the individually owned solar electricity systems of a group of community members. These solar systems offset up to 100% of their owner’s energy consumption at their residences, businesses, or both. New laws enable a single solar system to offset multiple meters in other locations. If a business owner has multiple locations, a homeowner has multiple houses, or a landlord has multiple rental properties, they can purchase a single solar system at the Solar Farm meet all of their electricity needs.

This is all possible because of New York’s Net Metering law, which allows renewable energy systems to be connected to the utility grid so that the electricity they produce is credited to their owner’s account. These credits offset any of the power usage their owner purchases from the utility when the sun is not shining. At the end of a billing cycle, the credits are reconciled with the utility supplied power and any surplus is carried forward. Because energy usage is annualized, net metering is a big part of the reason that going solar is lucrative in New York State. A system owner generates credits on long sunny summer days to offset their utility supplied usage on darker winter days. Solar energy systems easily offset 100% of an owner’s annual usage.

Remote Net Metering takes this law a step further and essentially says that because a solar system is tied to the grid, and that determining the credits generated versus electricity used from the utility is a function of paperwork, this system can be located anywhere in a utility grid’s territory. A solar system can be located on a home or business owner’s roof, elsewhere on their property, or on a Solar Farm.

With the significant drop in the base price for solar, combined with the strong rebates and tax incentives available, solar can be as much financially compelling as it is an environmentally responsible investment. Solar systems reliably generate clean power for decades and secure their owner’s energy rates against the rising cost of power and inflation.

New York State has already had one of the strongest rebate programs in the country, and with the Governor’s new Clean Energy Fund in place, the solar industry and future customers are in luck. The Clean Energy Fund, which is designed to finance industry innovation, research, and market development dovetails with the Governor’s Clean Energy Standard which mandates that 50% of New York’s energy come from renewable sources by 2030 plus a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Renovus Solar, in partnership with Sustainable Cortland is hosting a Community Solar Initiative event on Thursday, February 18th at the Cortland Beer Company to discuss the options for going solar, provide information about Renovus Solar Farms, and provide overview of rebates and incentives available to New York residents. Learn more at renovuscommunitysolar.com

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