C&I, Rooftop, Solar

Commercial Solar Power System Unveiled in NYC

Clean Air Communities, New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA), Con Edison, Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC) and PowerLight Corporation have unveiled New York City’s largest commercial rooftop solar power system…

Brooklyn, New York – October 9, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] Clean Air Communities, New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA), Con Edison, Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC) and PowerLight Corporation have unveiled New York City’s largest commercial rooftop solar power system. The US$900,000 project was jointly funded through a public-private partnership by Clean Air Communities, NYSERDA and GMDC. The system was built and installed by PowerLight Corporation of Berkeley, California, using state-of-the-art solar technology and zinc bromide batteries. The photovoltaic panels and advanced battery will collectively work as a solar energy system to generate and store electricity in coordination with Con Edison’s network system. The 115 kW solar power system covers 11,500 square feet of roof area and reduces the peak electricity demand on New York’s power grid while simultaneously improving local air quality. When fully powered, the solar system will generate the equivalent energy to light 100 homes. The system will avoid thousands of tons of harmful emissions that contribute to fine particle pollution, smog, global warming, acid rain and haze. To the extent the system displaces fossil fuel electricity, it will eliminate 1,456 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over its 25-year lifetime – a reduction equivalent to planting 16 acres of trees. “This is an important event for our community,” said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velazquez, who represents Greenpoint. “Solar power reduces emissions from fossil fuel-burning power plants where children’s asthma and other respiratory ailments are high. It introduces innovative technology for environmental justice by reducing the number of power plants in our community. And, it demonstrates Renewable Energy sources to move us away from dependence on foreign fuel sources. I am very excited about the future that I see here!” The total solar system includes a 59 kW array at GMDC’s Humboldt Street location and a 56 kW array that will be operational at GMDC’s Manhattan Avenue building within the next several months. Funding for the project is provided through a joint partnership of NYSERDA, GMDC and a Clean Air Communities grant stemming from Con Edison. “Governor George Pataki’s mandate to NYSERDA is clear: Improve New York’s energy efficiency, while protecting our environment and solidifying our State’s economic base,” said William M. Flynn, NYSERDA President. “This project addresses all three of those goals, and NYSERDA has contributed US$300,000 to see it become a reality.” GMDC’s building at 810 Humboldt Street will also have an innovative load shifting capability so that excess energy generated on weekends will be stored and used to offset energy needs during peak demand. “Distributed solar power systems are critical to reducing our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels,” said PowerLight’s Vice President, Tom Leyden. “In today’s economy, cost-effective, clean, reliable power is becoming a priority for business, government agencies and non-profit organizations. Generating power on-site not only saves money, it also contributes to greater reliability, security, and energy independence.” PowerLight’s PowerGuard solar electric roof tile system was selected as the solar electric technology application for GMDC’s unused flat roof space. PowerGuard is a patented, lightweight photovoltaic roofing assembly that delivers clean solar electricity to the building while protecting the roof from damaging effects of weather and UV radiation. Additionally, the solar tiles provide thermal insulation benefits to the building.