By Jill Colvin
INWOOD — A city sanitation garage in Inwood is about to get a whole lot greener.
The city is looking for private companies to install solar panels at five city buildings, including the garage at 301 W. 215th St., officials announced Thursday.
"Installing solar panels at these city buildings will help reduce the city’s carbon footprint and put our energy consumption on a more sustainable path," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement.
"If we want to lead the way toward an environmentally-friendly future, we have to be willing to experiment and innovate," the mayor said.
In all, the facilities are expected to generate enough energy to power more than 600 homes. Any extra energy generated by the facilities will be used by the city, a spokeswoman for the mayor said.
The other sites picked to get the solar panels include two high schools in the Bronx and a Staten Island Ferry maintenance building. All of the buildings have large, flat roofs with unobstructed access to the sun.
Private companies will bid for the right to equip the buildings with the panels under the terms of the city's request for proposals. The program is the first energy-related public-private partnership in the city, officials said.
The city is also planning to build new solar power plants on top of old city landfills, including Fresh Kills, on Staten Island, and on Fountain Avenue, in Brooklyn.