WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Upper Manhattan got a little greener this week as one of the neighborhood’s largest nonprofit agencies unveiled a new solar panel system in its community housing facility in Washington Heights.
The state-of-the-art panels installed at the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation (NMIC) are said to provide one-third of the building’s electrical needs for heating, hall lighting and elevators, according to the agency.
The installation has lauded as a step in the right direction for the entire community.
“When you consider that, on average, low-income households spend nearly 14 percent of their total annual income on energy compared to the average household, which spends only 3.5 percent, the impact of technology, what we are celebrating today is very clear,” said Barbara Lowry, NMIC’s executive director in a statement.
The panels that were donated by Morgan Stanley, were unveiled during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday at the group’s Lead Safe House, which provides temporary shelter for families whose children have high lead levels in their blood.
The space also plays home to NMIC’s Adult Education program and Happy Faces Family Day Care Network, where community members learn how to run licensed day care programs, and houses the WIN for Health Program, a partnership with New-York Presbyterian Hospital that provides health education and services to community residents with childhood asthma and adult diabetes.
“[NMIC’s] efforts have expanded our City’s economy, reduced energy costs and encouraged environmentally-conscious collaborations between tenants, landlords and building owners,” said Ingrid Sotelo, community affairs liaison for Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.
NMIC's use of solar panels reflects a larger trend citywide.
According to the Bloomberg Administration, the use of solar panels has tripled across the five boroughs over the past three years.