Andrew Cuomo wants to “Power NY” with solar. Masthead

Andrew Cuomo wants to “Power NY” with solar.

Andrew Cuomo, a Democratic candidate in New York’s Gubernatorial race, has brought solar energy expansion and growth to the forefront of his campaign with a document called “Power NY,” in which he outlines ways to stimulate New York’s solar energy industry. Cuomo is the first candidate in the race to release a clear energy plan during the campaign.

In 2009, the Public Service Comission (PSC) expanded New York’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to increase the renewable electricity consumption of New Yorker’s from 25 percent to 30 percent by 2015, as recommended by Governor Paterson. Cuomo is proposing a system similar to the California Solar Initiative (CSI) — an aggressive and, thus far, successful plan to boost the number of solar energy installations, both big and small, across California. In Power NY, Cuomo calls for New York to specify targets requiring the state’s utility to install solar.

Evidently, Cuomo draws inspiration from California and Arizona, two states recognized for their strong leadership in the solar energy industry:

When Arizona and California each made similar commitments to promote an expansion of solar power, they inspired two global solar manufacturers to locate within their borders [China’s Suntech Corp. in Arizona, and SunPower Corp. in California]. The burgeoning solar technology component manufacturing cluster has emerged in the Hudson Valley and Western New York that will benefit tremendously from this new commitment to solar power.

Cuomo’s plan focuses specifically on ways for New York to incorporate renewable energy, like solar:

  • Increase incentive to install solar by creating a new “NY-Sun Solar Renewable Energy Credits” program
  • Jumpstart the use of solar thermal technology for water heating
  • Replace older power plants with modern plants to increase capacity and reduce emissions

Recommending any particular political candidate isn’t something Adirondack Solar is accustom to but we can’t help to say that anyone who works toward cleaner energy in NY has our vote. Of course, once Rick Lazio and Carl Paladino retort we may just have to swing our vote. Whoever offers the greatest incentives for our customers and creates the most amount of jobs and helps bring NY closer to energy independence then they have our vote.