Solar Where Feasible

Affordable Solar for Affordable Housing

To address NYC’s commitment to 1 gigawatt of solar by 2030, HPD partnered with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and non-profit Solar One to develop HPD’s Solar Where Feasible program. Solar Where Feasible helps buildings optimize solar across HPD's portfolio while building capacity for builders and designers of affordable housing through free technical support. HPD’s Solar Where Feasible program has supported over 12 MW of cost-effective solar since 2020. The buildings will save approximately $1.9 million on their annual electric bills and reduce 4,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year.

Updates for 2024:

Due to the success of our program and the phase-out of the affordable housing exemption of Local Laws 92/94 on November 15, 2024, HPD will no longer require Solar Feasibility Analyses on HPD New Construction projects as of July 1, 2024. HPD projects with a signed Solar Feasibility Analysis predating July 1st exempting solar may submit a DOB waiver through November 15th. Note that HPD and Solar One will release new tools and resources to assist teams with design and underwrite solar.

Note that in addition to compliance with LL92/94, projects that disturb 20,000 sf or more of soil or create 5,000 sf or more new impervious area are subject to the DEP’s Unified Stormwater Rule (USWR), and may be required to install a green roof to comply.

The Solar Feasibility Analysis has been updated to v2.4 to reflect changes to pricing and incentives, including the new including the new IRA incentives.

Requirements: All HPD projects are required to submit a Solar Feasibility Analysis, install solar where it is deemed cost-effective or is otherwise required (e.g., by a local law or agency requirement). All solar must comply with the Solar Technical Requirements and use an NYSERDA-approved installer.

The following projects will be exempt from the requirement to install solar:

  • Per LL92/94, projects installing a green roof over 90% of the sustainable roofing zone, projects where the roof cannot support a minimum system size of 4kW, and (until November 2024) certain affordable housing projects deemed financially infeasible by HPD
  • For projects not subject to LL92/ 94, projects that cannot meet a 10-year payback using the Solar Feasibility Analysis are not required to install solar.

Helpful links:

Solar Feasibility Analysis & Process

Solar One can provide free and comprehensive solar technical assistance to all building owners, applicants, and HPD Project Managers from IPNAs through construction!

Contact Solar One at for support or questions.


  • Where applicable: project teams should consider, early in the design process, whether the project will need a green roof to satisfy the DEP’s USWR requirement,
  • All project teams: should consider how to optimize their roofs for solar when determining locations of equipment, bulkheads, recreational spaces, etc.
  • Rehabs only: Solar screenings are required as part of a project’s IPNA if the IPNA indicates a roof replacement or significant roof work. This is a preliminary screening only for budgeting purposes. The project architect should submit an updated Solar Feasibility Analysis to ensure accuracy and reflect any changes to the scope or design, see SUBMISSION (#1) below.

SUBMISSION (prior to the HPD Design Consultation)

  1. The applicant (typically the architect or green consultant) submits a Solar Feasibility Analysis, including a schematic roof plan, via the Solar Feasibility Analysis Intake Portal.
  • Rehabs only: If the project has a signed Feasibility Analysis that was done as part of the IPNA, the architect may submit that version if it accurately reflects the project and scope at the time of the Design Consultation. Otherwise, a new analysis should be submitted.
    • The applicant may request assistance from Solar One to complete the Feasibility Analysis. The applicant only needs, at minimum, basic information about the building and any new equipment proposed on the roof. This is strongly recommended for teams new to solar.
    • If the applicant has a proposed solar design or specific information (e.g., actual costs) they may use the Advanced Inputs tab.
    • For projects with multiple buildings, Solar One will assist the applicant to create one consolidated Feasibility Analysis.
    • The applicant should consult the owner, Solar One, or the PM if they have questions about filling in the tax incentives or other sections.


  1. Solar One completes the Solar Feasibility Analysis.

    • Solar One reviews the applicant’s submitted information and checks for accuracy and discrepancies, including eligible incentives and costs and may reach out to the applicant for clarifications or recommend an alternative design for the applicant to consider.

  2. After the Design Consultation, HPD Sustainability signs the Feasibility Analysis.
  • The HPD Approval form will note whether solar is required, recommended (but not required), or not required, typically noting the reason.
  • For New Construction: Until July 1, 2024, the HPD Approval form will also note if an HPD-issued letter for a DOB LL92/94 exemption may be granted.
  • Regarding exemptions and waivers: HPD Sustainability cannot waive the DEP USWR requirement for green roofs, and starting November 2024, DOB will no longer accept HPD's Exemption Letters - all new roofs and new roof assemblies will trigger LL92/94 regardless of financial feasibility.


  1. For projects where solar is required the architect will develop a Preliminary Design for solar that will be used for bidding purposes.

    • The architect is strongly encouraged to set up a meeting with Solar One, the owner and HPD PM to answer questions about solar, discuss the design, and next steps. If requested, Solar One can work with the architect to generate a more detailed preliminary design that the architect can incorporate into the Bid and Construction Documents.
    • Architects are encouraged to consult “Solar for Development Teams” (link coming soon, see below) which contains helpful information about designing and procuring solar document which contains helpful information about designing and procuring solar.
    • The final solar design will be created by the selected installer after closing.

  2. If the Preliminary Design is significantly different than the signed Solar Feasibility Analysis (e.g. different number of panels and/or different estimated production), the applicant should resubmit the Solar Feasibility Analysis, including the Preliminary Design, to Solar One to recalculate the cost and payback.


  1. Solar bids must include the full installation cost and note the estimated NYSERDA NY-Sun incentive.
  • The NY-Sun incentive is typically paid to the GC upon completion, which is also recognized as a source in HPD’s underwriting.
  1. Solar One can assist architect/ owner with the bidding process (for the solar portion only).
    • Solar One can assist the architect in developing the solar bid package, review the solar bids and provide recommendations.
    • Solar scope is included in the plan and cost review package.
    • Solar One is also able to assist with architect, installer and GC coordination during pre-closing.
  2. Solar One can assist project team during construction, closeout and completion, if necessary.
    • If questions or requests for change orders come up during construction, Solar One can help owners or HPD assess and/or understand the issues and/or review change orders.
    • Solar One can provide guidance to the owner and GC for procuring applicable incentives and ensure that all staff can understand and use the system monitoring.

Have Questions? Contact for free technical assistance.