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NYC Solar Partnership

In 2006 solar production was negligible in NYC due to extensive barriers including technical and policy, as well as a lack of incentives, standardization or cohesion among agencies and utilities.

Sustainable CUNY, as an objective and trusted university, initially formed the NYC Solar Partnership in 2006, working collaboratively with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) in developing and implementing comprehensive plans for large-scale solar integration and the associated economic development in New York City. This strategic approach has resulted in Federal, State and City support for key programs that Sustainable CUNY implements on behalf of NYC, in collaboration with over 40 key partners.

One City: Built to Last

In 2014 Mayor Bill de Blasio committed to continuing the Partnership and instilled a comprehensive initiative under One City: Built to Last that includes a two new programs: Solarize NYC and Shared Solar NYC, led by Sustainable CUNY. In September of 2016 the Mayor announced the City's new target for solar capacity was raised to 1,000 MW by 2030, and additionally, set NYC's first energy storage deployment target of 100 MWh by 2020 to support resiliency during outages. Mayoral Announcement

Stated Mayoral Goals 

  • 250 MW of solar on privately owned properties by 2025
  • 100 MW of solar on City-owned properties by 2025

NYC Solar Partnership Current Focus:

  1. Further reduce the cost of solar in NYC with support from NYC Solar Ombudsmen
  2. Increase solar energy capacity by supporting Solarize NYC and Shared Solar NYC campaigns through 2025
  3. Attract and support solar energy companies: Installing Solar in NYC 


NYC Solar Ombudsmen

The City funds the NYC Solar Partnership in its efforts to continue to reduce market barriers for investing in solar power, attracting solar energy companies to New York City, and increasing solar energy production capacity. This includes a team of NYC Solar Ombudsmen who provide assistance with permitting for solar installations by assisting at the NYC Department of Buildings Hub, coordinating solar projects between City-owned properties and other entities, connecting installers and their customers to financing and incentive opportunities, and providing installers, businesses, and residents with educational resources to help accelerate investments in solar power. Meet the Solar Ombudsmen

In addition to these services, the expanded NYC Solar Partnership focuses on increasing the resiliency of communities by identifying and coordinating opportunities for targeted installations of solar power with battery backup storage. The NYC Solar Partnership also seeks to expand solar access to ensure it is more equitably distributed by targeting additional assistance for communities that have historically had limited access due to financial hardship, technical constraints, or other reasons. This includes scaling up innovative solar programs, including community-based group purchasing and shared solar programs, which would provide more New Yorkers with the opportunity to benefit from this renewable energy source. Contact a Solar Ombudsmen