Massachusetts Leaving NY in the Dust on Solar

Boston-based Broadway Electrical, one of the largest solar developers in the northeast, just announced a $120 million deal with major financial institutions to install 37 megawatts of solar PV in Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. This represents more than half of the solar capacity put in place through Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative.

How is this possible? The Governor’s solar program was supposed to be the greatest thing to happen to New York since the I-Phone. The reality is that NY-Sun does not go nearly far enough. The original iteration limited incentives to systems sized 50 kilowatts and lower, the equivalent of five homes. Soon the state’s Public Service Commission will rule on a petition to extend the incentives to solar arrays up to 200 kilowatts of capacity. While this is an improvement, it pales in comparison to the 800-1,000 kilowatt systems Broadway Electrical is constructing in Massachusetts.

Why is New York losing so many green jobs to Massachusetts? The main reason is our conservative approach to solar power. Massachusetts has a flexible, aggressive model that utilizes solar renewable energy credits (SRECS) – tradable commodities that help to finance large solar installations – and community electrical cooperatives that allow municipalities to enter into agreements to purchase clean, renewable power on behalf of their residents.

If this were baseball, the Yankees would never stand for this level of Red Sox dominance. Twenty-seven World Series titles don’t lie. It is time for Governor Cuomo to take a hint and continue the New York tradition of going to all lengths to beat down our patriots to the north.