NY wants to install 100 MW of solar power

NEW YORK Fri May 15, 2009 3:46pm EDT

Solar photovoltaic panels are seen at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada in this picture taken August 1, 2008. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Solar photovoltaic panels are seen at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada in this picture taken August 1, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Steve Marcus

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York wants to install up to 100 megawatts of solar photovoltaic power at public and private facilities to help meet the state's aggressive renewable mandate, the governor said in a release Friday.

Specifically, the state-owned power generating company, the New York Power Authority (NYPA), will seek parties interested in entering into public-private partnerships with the state to install the solar arrays.

The solar power generated by the arrays would power about 15,000 homes, according to NYPA.

Proposals are due by July 7. The state said any proposals it selects would likely start in 2010.

The solar power would help the state meet the governor's 45-by-15 program. By 2015, the governor wants New York to receive 45 percent of its electricity through energy efficiency and renewable power. The state has estimated the 45-by-15 program would create about 50,000 new jobs.

Officials at the governor's office were not immediately available for comment.

The state did not estimate how much it would cost to build 100 MW of solar power.

Solar photovoltaic power is one of the most expensive types of generation. A kilowatt costs an estimated $6,000, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. It could cost about $600 million to build 100 MW of solar photovoltaic power.

Wind power, meanwhile, costs about $1,900 per kilowatt to build onshore and $3,800 per kilowatt offshore, while combined cycle natural gas-fired generation costs about $1,000 per kilowatt and coal-fired generation costs about $2,000 per kilowatt.

Unlike natural gas and coal-fired generation, wind and solar power are only available about a third of the time.

But fossil fuels, like natural gas and coal, produce carbon dioxide, which is regulated in New York and will likely soon be regulated by the federal government because of its links to global warming.

(Reporting by Scott DiSavino)

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