The classic Manhattan skyline is set to become a leading source of clean, green solar power. Both the city and state of New York are finally tapping into one of the most readily available power sources, the sun. Quite frankly there is a huge expanse of skyline to capitalize on.
This project is already underway with the owner of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, Manhattan having installed a rather magnificent selection of solar panels on a large building. Building owners are being offered substantial solar energy grid subsidies to effect this change.
With 9,000 solar panels to 56 rooftops, it has doubled the area’s solar capacity by adding 3.9 megawatts. A quarter of the cost was funded by the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority, through its $1 billion NY-Sun program. This will power 1,100 apartments yet the Village has 11,200 apartments. With continued tax breaks and other incentives to homeowners and landlords, there is a drive to increase output and overcome the deficit.
Despite limitations, the managers of Co-op City, a large housing complex, has been part of a plan to install solar panels over its parking garages. If implemented successfully it could generate more than 5 megawatts, enough to power 1,500 homes. Co-Op City is home to some 15,000 apartments in 35 buildings.
Long Island’s Governor Andrew Cuomo has been part of an initiative to wean New York off fossil fuels. New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, also has a strategy calling for residents to stop using fossil fuels and switch to all forms of renewable energy within the next few years. In fact, the Bronx’s Co-Op City complex is due to have solar panels installed soon.
2030 is the date when the state is aiming to have 70 percent of its power generated from renewable sources. This was just after, the New York City Council passed a regulation requiring practically all new buildings to be topped with solar panels or have the roof crowned with some vegetation.
There is a pride New Yorkers take in acquiring their green status. Those who live in StuyTown have their power included in their rent the money goes directly to the management company. They have been given LEED platinum rating from United States Green Building Council. Residents are proud of this and happy to be living in an apartment that is spearheading the way for a reduction in the use of fossil fuels.
Only two percent of the country’s electricity is solar and the target is 20 percent by 2030. So when the energy collected from the panels is given back into the power grid this is a great start. At least some of the power surges anticipated in the hot summer will have reserves to be drawn on.
Most solar power comes from industrial plants stationed in areas of practically perpetual sunshine but we must not write off the need for rooftop solar power. New York is catching up to California and other more environmentally friendly states. The whole world will benefit from these accelerated policies. New Yorkers will benefit from a reduction in their electricity bills. That is something we all want.