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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, D-N.Y., has launched the NY-Sun Initiative, which aims to double the amount of customer-sited solar power installed annually in New York and quadruple that amount by 2013.

The NY-Sun Initiative was first outlined by the governor in his 2012 State of the State address. It was approved by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) earlier this month.

The NY-Sun Initiative brings together and expands existing programs administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and NYPA to ensure a coordinated and well-funded solar energy expansion plan.

The New York Public Service Commission has approved NYSERDA's request to double funding for customer-sited solar electric systems to $432 million over the next four years. The expanded solar program will increase financial incentives for large, commercial-sized PV projects and expand incentive programs for small to midsize residential and commercial systems.

NYSERDA will also provide additional funding for its competitive-bid solar program for larger-scale and aggregated systems that currently focuses on businesses, colleges and universities, and other large buildings located in New York City, Westchester County and the lower Hudson Valley. The program, which is now offering $30 million and accepting applications, provides another important strategy to deal with the demand for electricity in the downstate metropolitan area and will be expanded to other areas of the state.

As part of NY-Sun, NYSERDA and NYPA are also collaborating on a balance-of-system (BOS) initiative, working with private and public partners across New York state, and building on the BOS advancements made by the City University of New York and the efforts under way in the PV Manufacturing Consortium.

NYPA's additional new efforts include expanding its current solar research and demonstration programs through its recently announced Solar Market Acceleration Program, which is designed to make competitive funding available for innovative solar technology research, training, demonstration projects and cost-reduction strategies.

Finally, LIPA is implementing a first-of-its-kind program in the state to purchase up to 50 MW of solar power that is generated on its customers' premises.

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