Pierre Bull, Policy Analyst, Air & Energy, New York City
According to a new report released today by the Regional Plan Association (RPA), solar energy development has seen robust and rapid growth in the three states comprising the New York metropolitan ‘Tri-State’ region over the past couple of years — representing a ‘ray of growth’ in an otherwise sluggish economic recovery.
The report states:
“With approximately 781 MW of installed solar generation in the tri-state region to date – about the size of a large conventional power plant – there is great potential to significantly scale up solar PV and use it to help satisfy a larger portion of the region’s electricity needs than it currently serves.”
We couldn’t agree more. It’s a win-win for both our economy and environment. The solar energy industry continues to represent one of the few bright spots in an otherwise slow and sluggish economic recovery – reinvigorating local economic development and laying the foundation for local high-quality job opportunities.
“Solar is a vital component of a larger clean energy portfolio,” said Jessie Feller, director of Regional Plan Association’s energy program. “Together with other sustainable options, including wind and hydro power, increased energy efficiency and the repowering of old, inefficient power plants, solar can play a key role in improving environmental health and fostering economic development in the region.”
Among the three states, New Jersey is already a national leader in adopting solar power, Connecticut recently passed ambitious new solar legislation, and New York is looking at new solar program options. One of these options is gaining momentum in the New York State Legislature for the Empire State to get serious about solar by passing the New York Solar Jobs Act.
Of course, establishing clear and long-term solar energy objectives provides an invaluable roadmap for that kind of solar success. A continued increase in solar deployment in the Tri-State region will create jobs, improve air quality and public health, increase grid reliability and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
We were proud to work with RPA and our colleagues at the Vote Solar Initiative to produce the report.
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