Alternative Energy
5:36 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Push Is On for Solar Power Bill to be Voted Upon in Albany This Session

Solar energy advocates are pushing the New York State Assembly to vote on a bill before session ends that would make solar power more accessible in C-N-Y and across the state. 

Solar Power Bill in Albany could create jobs and limit power outages during storms like Sandy, advocates say.

This solar bill would establish Governor Cuomo’s Sun Initiative, which offers tax incentives to solar production companies to encourage them to come to New York.  Solar Energy Industries Association Senior Vice President Carrie Cullen Hitt says this bill would allow New York State to strengthen its list of energy options.

“Every market including New York needs a portfolio of resources.  You are always going to have other fuels in the mix and other generation resources.  Hopefully they are going to be cleaner and more efficient plants.  You are going to need those in perpetuity.  Our goal is to look at solar and say increasingly so how can we rely on this resource.”

WAER's Kaitlyn Richards talks with Carrie Cullen Hitt of the Solar Energy Industries Association about New York's Solar Initiative, what the amount of power and jobs it could create, and the power interruptions that might be avoided, such as during Superstorm Sandy.

Hitt says the bill has been a topic of conversation for years, but the recent events following Superstorm Sandy helped highlight the need for new energy options.  She says the solar bill could help alleviate some accessibility problems associated with current energy production.

“The way the system is structured now is that we have large generation plants that are located typically not near where electricity is used.  You put it over transmission lines and it delivers to the customer.  With distributed generation being closer to the load if you have grid interruption sometimes you can isolate those areas and allow people to continue to use that distributed generation.”

In addition to increased solar energy production, Hitt says the bill could also add thousands of jobs throughout that state.  She says a similar plan in Massachusetts added as many as five-thousand new jobs since it began a few years ago.