ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Nine community solar projects around New York state have been awarded state contracts to help low-income residents access renewable energy.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority says the contracts awarded through the "Solar for All " program will reduce the energy burden for about 7,000 low-income households. The first round of awards was announced Monday.

The program is part of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's $1 billion NY-Sun initiative. It offers eligible households the opportunity to subscribe to a local community solar project without any upfront costs or participation fees.

Contracts were awarded to community solar projects in the mid-Hudson Valley, western New York, the Mohawk Valley, the North Country and the Finger Lakes.

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