By Susan Marriott

While some believe that New York State is a relatively sunny state, this spring has, so far, made others question this tag.  However, New York is looking to take advantage of its sunshine through the NY-Sun Competitive PV Program, which recently awarded $46 million for 76 large-scale solar energy projects.  These solar energy projects will add 52 megawatts of energy capacity, enough to power almost 9,000 homes.  Over the next couple years, the program has the potential to quadruple the amount of customer-sited solar photovoltaic capacity in New York.

New York’s commitment to solar energy may provide opportunity for solar supply chain manufacturers.  It is expected that incentives will result in a demand for solar installation professionals and servicing companies, and solar component manufacturers may also benefit from increased solar capacity incentives such as the NY-Sun program and resulting market growth, especially since newly-imposed import tariffs on Chinese solar cells improves the competitiveness of domestic solar cell manufacturing.  Also, New York’s commitment to the NY-Sun program adds to the predictability of the solar energy market at least at the state level.  In fact, Governor Cuomo committed in his recent State of the State address to extend the NY-Sun program through 2023.

The surge of  solar energy usage in New York State is following the national trend.  According to the U.S. News and World Report, solar is the fastest growing energy source in the United States, with growth upwards of 65 percent predicted for 2013.  Thus, supply chain opportunity is not limited to New York State, but could extend nationwide.  Additional solar development will result from the federal government’s opening of federal lands for solar development.  Accordingly, manufacturers should be looking at opportunities to support the growing solar sector before they are left in the dark.