Research Associate
Research Foundation of The City University of New York - New York, NY

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New York State Solar Ombudsman Since 2007 the City University of New York (CUNY), through Sustainable CUNY, has led the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability, the New York City Economic Development Corporation and key stakeholders, including the New York Power Authority and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, in developing strategic plans for large-scale solar growth in New York City. CUNY has led this collaborative team in implementing three competitively won U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grants designed to remove barriers and support large-scale solar growth. As a result, New York City has seen growth from 1MW to 11.5MW of installed solar and a quadrupling of solar installation companies to-date. CUNY is leading New York City efforts on Solar Market Analytics, Roadmapping, and Tracking NY (SMART NY), which includes a strategy for statewide expansion. CUNY, on behalf of NYC, developed the SMART NY plan and was awarded a competitive grant from the DOE’s SunShot Initiative as part of its two-phased ‘Rooftop Solar Challenge’. SMART NY is a strategic, replicable plan with 30 partners collaborating to systematically address the non-hardware BOS challenges in America’s largest city of one million rooftops in phase one, with the potential for state-wide expansion in phase two. In order to leverage existing efforts in New York City, and to support the statewide efforts, CUNY is hiring a New York State Solar Ombudsman. This Ombudsman will sit at a partner location, preferably in Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany, or Kingston. Travel throughout upstate New York is required.
Other Duties:
The New York State Solar Ombudsman will work closely with an existing State Ombudsman (based in New York City) who is responsible for benchmarking permitting and interconnection processes for jurisdictions across New York State. Both Ombudsmen will be responsible for creating and maintaining a network of stakeholders across the State, as well as leveraging successful work to-date in New York City. The Ombudsman to be hired will have a prime focus of working with stakeholders to gain support for streamlined permitting for residential solar installations. Responsibilities will include:
• Development of a network of municipalities and utilities willing to work toward the adoption of a streamlined permit form for residential installations.
• Engagement of stakeholders across the State to research best practices and developing a standardized online registration form for residential systems.
• Upon development of the form, working with established partners, with a focus on utilities, to seek adoption in key jurisdictions across the State.
• Understanding local requirements and working to bring streamlined permitting solutions to partner jurisdictions.
• Gathering information regarding local online resources, including permitting information, and installations, for inclusion on the NYS Solar Map (to be developed).
• Acting as a liaison between solar installation companies and jurisdictions as needed.
• Assisting with statewide event coordination and trainings as needed. The NYS Solar Ombudsman will work closely with an existing NYS Solar Ombudsman, the New York City Solar Coordinator and Ombudsmen, the Communications Director, and the University Director for Sustainability (all located in New York City). Ultimately, the Ombudsman will report directly to a NYS Solar Coordinator. Salary: $55,000

Core Competencies/Qualifications:
Applicants must have proven experience with or knowledge of several of the following:
• New York State energy policy, programs, and incentives
• Best practices for permitting and/or interconnection processes
• Working with a range of stakeholder groups and levels
• Process mapping
• Residential PV installations Successful applicants will have excellent writing skills, public speaking ability in both large and small settings, and project management experience. This position will require the ability to work independently as well as collaborate with multiple stakeholders. Two to five years’ experience in a relevant field is required. Graduate degree preferred in energy policy or similar focus. Applicants must be able and willing to travel across the State on a regular basis. This position will be hired through the CUNY Research Foundation. An AA/EO/ADA Employer (Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer/Americans with Disabilities Act).