Cornell Cooperative Extension provides consumers with unbiased, research-based information to enable them to make informed decisions for themselves and their families. In this section, you will find information on solar energy that may help you to decide whether solar is right for you and your home.
For more information on state incentives, as well as general information about solar, visit NYSERDA's NY Sun program site. There, you can also find information about how the solar credits show up on your electric bill.
And remember, even if you rent your home or apartment, or the home you own is completely shaded, you can go solar. More information is available on our Community Shared Solar page.
Solar energy is simply energy derived from the sun, which we can then convert to electricity or thermal energy. Since sunlight is relatively infinite, solar energy is one of our most promising renewable resources.
For the typical electricity needs of homeowners, a solar panel system can potentially supply between 70 and 110% of energy demand - the excess of which can be sent back to the grid, allowing you to receive solar credit.
Solar thermal systems convert solar radiation to thermal energy. A solar water heater can meet 90-100% of your hot water needs in the summer.
If you own land you would like to lease, consider the installation of a solar farm. Solar developers are contacting farmers and landowners in NY State to secure secure long-term land leases on 10 to 30 acre parcels.
To be eligible for incentives and financing through NYSERDA, you must choose a participating contractor to install your solar system. Learn more about finding a contractor here.
Carly Summers, Ph.D.
Agriculture Issue Leader
Last updated July 13, 2021