Bill Memo: Protecting Access to Community Solar

1-Tree: Beneficial rating


This bill prevents local governments from prohibiting the construction, installation, or operation of solar energy generating systems with a nameplate capacity of two megawatts or less, in any non-residential zoning district or mixed commercial and residential zoning district of any such city, town or village, unless the zoning district is a certified agricultural district.


This legislation prohibits local governments from blocking solar energy projects on already zoned existing structures or parking facilities with a generating capacity of 2 MW of less.

In 2019, New York State passed the Climate, Leadership, and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). The CLCPA mandates that we achieve 100% zero emissions electricity by 2040 and reduce emissions by 85% by 2050. Solar energy Is a critical piece of the implementation process, and the State has committed to installing 6 GW of solar by 2025 and 10 GW by 2030.

In 2020, New York received only 31% of its electricity from renewable sources, leaving a substantial gap to fill by 2030. Renewable energy does have the potential to account for 70% of energy generation in the next decade through a combination of large-scale and small-scale renewable energy projects. Solar is the primary small-scale renewable energy option as it can be added to nearly any building or structure with relatively low installation costs, minimal maintenance, and the ability to provide decades of carbon free electricity. The goal of this legislation is to prevent unreasonable local opposition from hindering community access to the environmental and economic benefits of renewable energy.

Download PDF


Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Beneficial

Memo #: 51