Empire State Solar Generation Photo Contest Billboard Goes Live
Times Square is about to get a little bit sunnier: starting today, a digitalbillboard will feature photographs of real New Yorkers calling for state lawmakers to make the Empire State a solar energy powerhouse by passing the New York Solar Jobs Act of 2011 (S.4178/A.5713). Legislators have until the session ends on June20 to pass the bill and bring the many economic and environmentalbenefits of a strong solar industry to New York.“There’s no better place to show New York lawmakers, and the world, that solar is ready forprimetime than iconic Times Square,” said Shaun Chapman, Director of East Coast Campaigns for Vote Solar. “We have the power to create tens of thousands of jobs in New York,boost the state’s economy with billions in increased wages and revenue,and help clean up its air – all with solar energy,” said Pierre Bull, Energy Policy Analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “NewYorkers want the jobs, economic, and health benefits that solar powercan deliver. With New Jersey currently number two nationwide in solarenergy, there’s no reason the Empire State can’t give them a run fortheir money. ”
The featured New Yorkers are winners of the Empire State Solar Generation Photo Contest. The contest was led by Vote Solar and the Natural Resources DefenseCouncil with participation from a coalition of grassroots organizationsto demonstrate public support for the New York Solar Jobs Act. Thegroups used social media and other online outreach tools to encourageNew Yorkers to submit photos showing their support for solar energy inthe state. The contest drew entries from across the state, from LongIsland to Lake George. Pictures featured solar businesses, customers and fans posing in front of panels, holding signs and finding other ways to illustrate New York’s solar potential. In addition to the photos, thebroader grassroots campaign elicited more than 10,000 emails and 31,500letters to lawmakers in support of the New York Solar Jobs Act.
The New York Solar Jobs Act would build a robust, competitive new solar energy marketplace in New York by requiring the state’s electricity providers to obtain an increasing portion of their electricity from solar power until theyachieve 3% in 2025. The bi-partisan legislation is sponsored byAssemblymember Steven Englebright (D-Setauket) and Senator George Maziarz (R-C, Newfane). In addition to other benefits the bill would develop 5,000 MW of solar photovoltaics in New York by 2025, which would provide enoughsafe, reliable renewable electricity to power 500,000 averagehouseholds.
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