A report released in February by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority showed significant potential for solar energy investment in the state over the next decade, and it now looks as though The Big Apple itself is taking the advice to heart.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced earlier this week that the city will complete 10 solar panel installations on municipal building roofs. This will triple the amount of solar energy produce by NYC to 8.4 megawatts total.
Previously-mentioned New York State Energy Research and Development Authority actually funded the projects with grants that allowed the city to install solar panels in Queens, Staten Island, the Upper West Side and in the Gowanus area of Brooklyn. The buildings range from police precincts to a fire company to two different high schools. Additionally, buildings used by New York City’s transportation and sanitation divisions also received solar panel installs.
Coupled with other energy efficiency upgrades to municipal buildings, the city expects to save about $32 million a year in energy costs. Mayor Bloomberg’s sustainability program, called PlaNYC, aims to cut down on energy costs around the city and use the savings for “more teachers, police officers and firefighters” according to the mayor’s statement.
The mayor fielded comments from critics who argue that the city is actually behind the curve when it comes to solar energy (especially when compared to neighbor New Jersey’s 440 MW of solar energy).
Bloomberg responded to those accusations by saying, “If we could get more capital funds from Washington, we certainly have shown we know how to use them.”