(USA)

State-supported solar power in New York has increased by 800% since 2011, it has been announced.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed the figures this week, which showed that between December 2011 and December 2016 solar projects leveraged nearly $1.5 billion in private investment.

“New York is a national leader in clean energy, and the tremendous growth of the solar industry across this state demonstrates this renewal technology’s increased accessibility and affordability for residents and businesses,” Governor Cuomo said. “Our investments in this clean energy resource create jobs, reduce carbon emissions, support economic growth, and help build a cleaner, greener New York for all.”

A combination of factors have been cited for driving growth in solar, including the NY-Sun Megawatt Block Incentive program, a decline in solar equipment prices, and growth in the number of installer businesses marketing solar directly to consumers.

State-supported projects total nearly 744 megawatts of solar power installed. That amount of electricity would be sufficient to meet the needs of more than 121,000 average homes.

And the progress made is vital to the Governor’s Clean Energy Standard that 50% of New York’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2030.