NYSEIA survey finds small and medium solar firms deeply suffering from COVID impacts
Solar Power World
NYSEIA surveyed the New York State solar industry from April 24–May 8 regarding the economic impact of COVID-19. 78 organizations completed the survey, including NYSEIA members and non-members. The survey consisted of 40 fields, primarily multiple choice, along with open comment questions. Respondents were primarily distributed solar installers and developers, consistent with NYSEIA member demographics; 69% of respondents are headquartered in New York State.
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. (Distributed solar is defined as systems installed on residential, commercial, and industrial rooftops, as well as community solar systems that provide low-cost solar power to groups of customers who lack rooftop access or sufficient land on their property.) 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% 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.
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