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SIEDC unveils solar energy initiative for Staten Island

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STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The Staten Island Economic Development Corp. recently announced a partnership with Crauderueff Solar and OYA Solar to plan and develop a community solar and battery storage initiative across the borough.

The partnership plans to implement community solar and battery storage installations, specifically to support disadvantaged neighborhoods and to transition to renewable energy for the borough.

The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) provided a $125,000 grant to support the project through its Affordable Solar and Storage Predevelopment and Technical Assistance Program, which aims to address barriers to solar and energy storage installations benefiting low-to-moderate income (LMI) households not served by traditional residential solar.

“Solar energy is part of our future, and we want to be very sure that Staten Island is prepared and ready to take advantage of the benefits it provides,” said Cesar J. Claro, president/CEO of the SIEDC. “The NYSERDA grant we secured allows us to plan and develop a community solar and battery storage initiative across the borough, with a focus on supporting LMI neighborhoods. It’s all about de-carbonization at SIEDC.”

The Community Solar Master Plan is expected to include:

  • A boroughwide master plan opportunity analysis, which will create an inventory of existing solar and storage sites and identify potential early adopters of solar energy;
  • Education and capacity building of at least 50 property owners around the borough, setting the stage for the first 2 megawatts of solar leases with more to be developed boroughwide;
  • Securing 2 megawatts of lease commitments to develop solar;
  • Development of community-based solar opportunities for LMI areas developed through a LMI Solar Steering Committee, including affordable housing providers;
  • A final report to replicate and scale community solar and storage and LMI subscriptions boroughwide.

“This Community Solar Master Plan will serve as a model for cities to generate value for property owners, help solve the climate crisis and direct benefits to low-income residents. We look forward to developing community solar projects on rooftops and parking lots across the borough with our project partners,” said Rob Crauderueff, president and founder of Crauderueff Solar.

“We are pleased to contribute to SIEDC’s mission, supporting responsible and sustainable development for underserved communities in Staten Island,” said Manish Nayar, founder and CEO at OYA Solar. “OYA Solar is looking forward to developing these solar projects, further reinforcing our commitment to provide equitable access to local, clean and cost-saving energy for businesses and low-to-moderate income neighborhoods.”

The study is expected to be completed by February 2023 with the topic being more fully discussed at SIEDC’s “Energy Summit” later this year. The summit will focus on opportunities through which the borough can address de-carbonization and cleaner fuel options.

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