How COVID-19 is impacting New York’s ambitious distributed solar goals
Under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) passed in 2019, New York State set an ambitious goal to deploy 6 gigawatts of distributed solar power by 2025. Going into 2020, the State had roughly 2 GW of distributed solar installed and a workforce nearly 11,000 strong, with growth projected to increase 25 percent per year to meet these goals.
But this year, given COVID-19 and the resultant shutdown of solar projects at the start of the construction season, the industry has weathered devastating and lasting financial impacts. Due to the halt on non-essential construction activities as directed by the New York on PAUSE Order through April and May, the New York solar sector is in danger of losing significant potential progress in the very first year of the CLCPA mandate. With individual distributed solar projects capped at 5 megawatts in size, the State needs all six construction seasons between now and 2025 to deliver more than 200 projects per year.
New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA) surveyed the New York State solar industry from April 24–May 8 regarding the economic impact of COVID-19. Seventy-eight organizations completed the survey, including NYSEIA members and non-members.
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