Rooftop solar arrays are helping more than 4,700 Con Edison customers lower their energy bills and protect the environment.
The company has encouraged its customers to consider whether solar energy is right for them and customers have responded by more than tripling the amount of solar production in New York City and Westchester County in just over two years.
The solar panels on homes and businesses in the area produce 67.5 megawatts of clean power, compared with 18.2 megawatts at the end of 2012, according to Con Edison’s latest numbers, which the utility released with Earth Day 2015 approaching.
“New York State’s Reforming Energy Vision proceeding is a great opportunity to make it easier for customers to choose clean energy options like solar,” said Patrick McHugh, Con Edison’s vice president, Engineering and Planning. “It’s clear our customers want the ability to better manage the ways they get and use energy, and we support the REV initiative’s move in that direction.”
Incentives from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, tax breaks and the state’s net metering law have made solar economically attractive. The net metering law allows customers to sell excess power that their panels generate back to the utility.
In 2014 alone, 2,138 Con Edison customers installed solar photovoltaic panels for yearly growth of 25 MW.
Customers in Westchester County have installed 1,484 solar projects producing 20 megawatts. In New York City, the borough with the most solar penetration is Staten Island, where customers have completed 1,986 projects producing 16.9 megawatts.
Since then, five additional companies in New York City have taken advantage of the Con Edison technology to make giant installations possible. Without the technology, the large backflow of power from these large installations would cause the customers to be blacked out.
Con Edison has even installed solar panels on its headquarters in Manhattan. The 200 panels produce 40 kilowatts.
Con Edison contributed technical support for the creation of the New York City Solar map (http://www.nycsolarmap.com/), a tool that lists the solar potential of every building in the city.
A Con Edison website, http://www.coned.com/dg/solarenergy/, explains the benefits of solar, the installation process and net metering.