An organization in New York will unveil a “Green Apple” renewable energy program that will alleviate the city’s overburdened electricity grid through the use of solar energy and low-emission energy facilities.
NEW YORK, New York – “At a time when electric supply has tightened and prices have risen sharply, many commercial and residential consumers are turning to reliable, renewable and sustainable green fuel products, such as solar systems, gas turbines, microturbines and distributed fuel cells,” says Allen Thurgood, chairman and CEO of 1st Rochdale Cooperative Group, Ltd. “As electric restructuring takes shape, energy services companies such as 1st Rochdale are free to innovate on behalf of the consumer to apply fuel-efficient green technologies toward alleviating the overburdened electric grid.” 1st Rochdale is an energy services company and the only electric cooperative that serves New York City and Westchester County. “Touchstone Energy is pleased to see consumers here in New York City seize upon the type of innovation that rural Americans have enjoyed for decades, through energy co-ops from coast to coast,” adds Jim Bausell, chief operating officer of Touchstone Energy. 1st Rochdale is a Touchstone Energy cooperative. The “Green Apple” renewable energy program will rely on four technologies, including solar systems. “For a growing number of facility planners and building contractors in search of highly reliable energy technologies, the sun has become the power source of choice,” says a company release. “Thanks to recent advances in silicon technology, manufacturers now install durable crystalline panels on rooftops or integrate thin film (amorphous silicon) directly into building materials, including roofing, windows and siding.” To meet rising customer demand in New York, 1st Rochdale will increase the energy supply by marketing solar power systems. Excess capacity can feed back into to the electric grid, rendering it less vulnerable to power outages during peak demand. The sun’s power is environmentally responsible and energy-efficient for business facilities and residential customers, it explains. 1st Rochdale has also partnered with the energy services company Tanzania Power LLC to build New York City’s first all-solar building. Several sites in Harlem are under consideration, with groundbreaking scheduled for the spring of 2002. Residents in Sacramento, California, have reduced their reliance on conventional energy sources and improved the reliability of their grid since they adopted solar power on a large scale several years ago. Sacramento has the same amount of sunshine as many eastern cities, including New York. A news conference on Monday will feature a demonstration of solar power systems installed on New York City rooftops. The program will also use combustion turbines that burn natural gas to reduce emissions. These dispersed systems will deliver up to 80 megawatts directly to areas of New York City’s grid requiring electricity during peak summer demand and other times when power is most needed. Microturbine systems will also be used to generate electricity quickly and in sufficient volume for a customer to withstand power outages. Units can sit on commercial buildings or inside an apartment boiler room or household basement, and company officials predict that microturbine systems will play a crucial role next summer as New York prepares for hot weather. Hydrolytic fuel cells will also be used, and the news conference will feature a demonstration of fuel cells. “NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research & Development Authority) is pleased to be working with 1st Rochdale,” says chairman William Howell. “Our goal in supporting projects like this is to help build a sustainable market for photovoltaics. Renewable energy sources have to become part of our energy future for both energy and environmental reasons, and projects like this can go a long way toward making that goal a reality.” NYSERDA is a key underwriter of 1st Rochdale’s “Green Apple” program. Customers include Amalgamated Bank, East Midtown Plaza, Amalgamated Housing, and other businesses and residences across the five boroughs and Westchester.