State environmental justice initiatives unveiled

June, 2020

NEW YORK — The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced new and advanced initiatives to help address environmental justice and support disadvantaged communities.

NYSERDA made available more than $10.6 million to help underserved New Yorkers access clean, affordable and reliable solar, representing the first step in implementing New York’s Social Energy Equity Framework.

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, grants provided through the Affordable Solar and Energy Storage Pre-development and Technical Assistance Program will help offset predevelopment costs to address system installation barriers as part of the State’s efforts to jumpstart the reopening and recovery of New York’s economy.

In May the New York Public Service Commission approved a $573 million expansion of the NY-Sun Program including a total of $200 million projected to help activities focused on low- and moderate-income New Yorkers, affordable housing, environmental justice and disadvantaged communities.

These efforts support Governor Cuomo’s goal to install 6,000 megawatts of distributed solar by 2025, as adopted by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).

In addition, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos revealed the appointment of the nine members of the Climate Justice Working Group to help guide the implementation of the CLCPA. The CLCPA Climate Action Council (Council) is co-chaired by DEC Commissioner Seggos and Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA.

“Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York has prioritized expanding access to clean, affordable energy to all New Yorkers, especially those living in environmental justice and disadvantaged communities which are often disproportionately affected by adverse health impacts caused by climate change. The relaunch of this program will help reduce pre-development cost and risk to ensure critical solar and energy projects are able to move forward cost-effectively while also bringing environmental and economic benefits to underserved New Yorkers," Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, Climate Action Council Co-Chair, said.

Read the full article in the Troy Record