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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. 

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.”

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.

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.