Health Emergency and Recession Did Not Stop Customers from Moving to Clean Energy
NEW YORK, Feb. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Con Edison customers continued their rapid adoption of solar energy in 2020, despite the economic and logistical challenges the coronavirus pandemic posed.
Customers in New York City and Westchester County, N.Y. completed 5,542 arrays during the year. The panels customers placed on their roofs last year have the capacity to produce 44.77 megawatts, or 44.77 million watts.
"The pandemic caused a pause in construction and the recession created apprehension among people who wanted to invest in their homes and businesses," said Lenny Singh, Con Edison's senior vice president, Customer Energy Solutions. "But it's a tribute to our customers that they continued to choose clean, renewable solar energy. Our customers are our greatest asset as we seek to lead our state and region toward a clean energy future."
Con Edison customers have now completed more than 35,700 projects with the capacity to produce 322 megawatts. Those projects avoid 300,000 tons of carbon emissions and the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by more than 64,000 cars.
It's a lot of clean electricity. The panels customers have installed have the capacity to produce enough power to run more than 4 million 42-inch LED TVs.
Among the five boroughs of New York City and Westchester County, Queens has the most customer solar arrays, 11,334. When it comes to production, Westchester is the leader with the panels there having the capacity to produce 83.75 megawatts.
Solar Energy in NYC and Westchester County
Capacity (in megawatts)
Customers in Queens completed the most projects last year – 2,064. That borough also added the most capacity, 13.35 megawatts.
A typical residential customer with a 6-kilowatt solar array can generate enough power to provide up to $700 in annual savings, helping reduce a bill by more than 60 percent.
Con Edison encourages customers to consider solar energy and tries to make the installation process faster, easier, and less expensive.
The company recently began offering solar installers and their customers a device called Smart ConnectDER, which allows a customer to avoid the cost of upgrading the home's circuit breaker panel and excessive electrical boxes on the side of the house.
The device can save a solar customer upwards of $1,000 and is available following a successful pilot program in 2019. Customers or installers who are interested can send an e-mail to ConnectDer@coned.com.
The company also sought and received New York State Public Service Commission approval to shorten the process for customers with solar projects up to 5 megawatts. Until this year, customers applying to interconnect these projects had to pay for a detailed engineering review that could take up to three months. This new process has shortened the interconnection timeline for dozens of projects.
Con Edison's efforts to speed the approval process include allowing developers to make payments electronically via Automated Clearing House or wire transfers.
The company has also enhanced a software program that streamlines communication and project inquiries between developers, applicants and Con Edison's Distributed Energy Services Group.
Through its Clean Energy Businesses, Con Edison Inc. is the second largest solar producer in North America and seventh largest in the world.
The company also supports utility ownership of large-scale renewable generation in New York State. Utility ownership would be less costly for customers since utilities can finance and operate these projects less expensively than private developers.
Adding more solar to the region's energy mix is part of Con Edison's Clean Energy Commitment.
Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. [NYSE: ED], one of the nation's largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $13 billion in annual revenues and $60 billion in assets. The utility delivers electricity, natural gas and steam to 3.5 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, N.Y.
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SOURCE Consolidated Edison Company of New York