Citywide solar capacity quadruples under Mayor de Blasio, supporting more than 2,700 jobs
The City’s municipal solar portfolio alone is set to triple in size to nearly 25 MW with a new power purchase agreement to provide 88 sites, including 66 New York City schools, with solar panels, bringing the total to over 100 solar schools operating with solar power by 2019. The New York City School Construction Authority (SCA), Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) and Department of Education (DOE) will partner to install solar on all future new school construction projects and roof renovations where practical.
“We have been aggressively expanding New York’s solar capacity so we can deliver on our goals of creating a more sustainable, resilient and just city,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “By making solar more accessible and affordable, we are combating climate change and reducing the burden of air pollution. New York is now leading by example, rapidly deploying solar installations on city buildings, putting us on track to hit even more ambitious goals. With the launch of the first two Solarize NYC campaigns this week, more and more New Yorkers across the city will have access to lower-cost solar.”
To further support the City’s goal of installing 1 gigawatt of solar capacity citywide by 2030 — enough to power 250,000 homes — the City is launching the first round of Solarize NYC campaigns this week in Harlem and Downtown Brooklyn. Solarize NYC is a citywide program designed to further increase access to solar through community group purchasing campaigns. This launch builds upon the success of the 2015 NYSolar Smart Solarize Brooklyn CB6 pilot program led by Sustainable CUNY, through which 26 contracts were signed for a total of 141 kilowatts of solar power. Overall, the program is expected to lower costs by 10 to 20 percent and increase solar capacity in communities that have historically had limited access to clean energy.
And, earlier this year the City successfully petitioned the New York State Public Service Commission to make shared solar more accessible by now only requiring two parties to constitute a community shared solar project, instead of ten. This relaxation of the rules paves the way for small multifamily buildings — even those where renters live — to implement shared solar installations and thereby unlocks solar for more of New York City’s rooftops than ever before.
Programs like Solarize NYC and related efforts to expand solar on public and private buildings are part of Mayor de Blasio’s sweeping commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050 and a core component of New York City’s OneNYC goal of being the most sustainable big city in world and a global leader in the fight against climate change.
The City’s renewable energy goals are an important step in fostering a dynamic and inclusive economy, and to develop an industry with a significant potential for new jobs. In fact, New York City was recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy as a SolSmart Gold community, the highest designation a community can receive for the actions it take to reduce barriers in the solar marketplace.
Solar energy in NYC is about more than just cheaper and cleaner electricity, it’s a powerful emblem that illustrates our City’s commitment to transition into a green economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050,” said Mark Chambers, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “The progress we’ve made in deploying solar to city owned buildings, and showing that we are on track for nearly 25 megawatts by 2019, in addition to working with our partners to launch the Solarize NYC campaigns this week, means we can further scale up on-site renewable energy investments in communities across the five boroughs.”