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New York state calls for 100 MW of solar electric

The governor of New York has requested 100 MW of solar electric capacity for the state, increasing current solar levels by 500%.

Facilities will be installed primarily at schools, public universities and colleges, state and local government facilities, municipal electric utilities and rural electric cooperatives.

The initiative will boost the state's growing solar industry and create clean energy jobs. When fully installed, the project could be the largest solar initiative in New York’s history.

Installation of the solar projects will begin this year and be completed by the end of 2014.

“Through this solar initiative, NYPA is working toward Governor Paterson's “45 by 15" goal and helping to build the solar industry in New York,” explains Richard Kessel of NYPA. “This initiative will advance the development of the solar industry and clean energy jobs throughout the state, and will help diversify our energy sources and incorporate green power educational opportunities for our schools.”

Seeking solar PV partnerships

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has issued a request for proposals seeking a public-private partnership for the installation of 100 MW of solar electric systems across the state, including roof-mounted and ground-mounted solar PV arrays.

NYPA is seeking proposals from developers to install, own and operate solar PV arrays, and to sell the energy and environmental attributes under 20-year power purchase agreements. NYPA will contract with project hosts (such as the school where the solar array is located) for the distribution of green power.

Call for bids

The RFP calls for bids related to four separate categories (government facilities such as public colleges & universities), public & private K-12 schools, parking lot canopies at governmental or educational facilities, facilities in the municipal & rural cooperative territories) and five separate regions (western, northern, central and southeast regions of the state, and New York City). Bidders can submit proposals for one or more regions in one or more categories.

The deadline for RFP responses is April 9; recommendations for awards are expected by September.

Current solar PV projects

In advance of this plan, NYPA has installed or is undertaking projects to install 50 solar PV systems with aggregate capacity of 3 MW. In recent months, NYPA has initiated solar projects with the University at Buffalo and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.

Paterson's “45 by 15" programme calls for New York state to source 45% of its electricity by 2015 through energy efficiency and renewable energy. He has estimated that the programme will create 50,000 new jobs.

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Energy infrastructure  •  Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity