New York is combining rooftop solar with community solar! The largest rooftop community solar project in New York (and possibly in the nation) was completed on a distribution center owned by Medline Industries, LP. The 7.2 MW community solar project will help reduce energy costs for both the company and 1,600 homes. The $8M project in Montgomery was constructed with a $5M investment from energy solutions developer PowerFlexNYSERDA provided over $3M in state incentive support under NY-Sun, which has a 10 GW goal for distributed solar by 2030 (6 GW by 2025) and a $1.45B budget!

NYSERDA reported that this project “builds on New York’s success under NY-Sun, through which solar across the state has grown over 3,000% since 2012, leveraged over $7.4B in private investments and decreased the cost of solar by 72% since the initiative’s inception. There are currently over 4,600 megawatts of distributed solar in operation, with nearly 3,500 megawatts in late-stage development moving towards completion. In 2022, New York became the top community solar market in the United States, providing nearly half of the nation’s community solar capacity last year. There are approximately 13,400 people engaged in solar jobs across New York.”

New York also has ambitious energy storage goals of 1.5 GW by 2025 and 6 GW by 2030. Con Edison placed NYC’s largest battery energy storage system (BESS) in service last month. The 7.5 MW/30 MWh system is located at a substation in Staten Island, providing a Non-Wires Alternative (NWA) to transmission upgrades.

NWAs are considered by National Grid in its distribution planning process. See Guidelines: Grid defines Non-Wires Alternative (NWA) as “Any electric system investment, whether an action, strategy, program, technology solution, or a combination thereof – such as distributed generation, energy storage, energy efficiency, demand response, and grid software and controls – with the intent to defer or replace the need to construct or upgrade components of a distribution and/or sub-transmission system, or ‘wires investment’. An NWA is required to be cost-effective compared to the wires investment and meet the specified electric grid need.” NWAs, such as Dynamic Line Ratings, can help unlock existing grid capacity at a much lower cost than expensive transmission upgrades.

See more on New York’s 10-GW Distributed Solar Roadmap:

For the most recent Order of the New York State Department of Public Service for the Advancement of Distributed Solar, see Order Adopting NY-Sun Mid-Program Modifications:

For inspiration on siting rooftop community solar with a commercial anchor customer, see this list of largest distribution centers/warehouses in North America: