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City to Install Solar Panels on 4 Rooftops in Staten Island and the Bronx

By Nicholas Rizzi | April 15, 2013 5:55pm

PORT RICHMOND — The city announced plans to install solar panels on four buildings in Staten Island and The Bronx — including one 200,000 square-foot rooftop in Port Richmond that's getting enough solar panels to cover one-and-a-half football fields, officials said.

The installation, which will triple the current amount of solar energy generated on city properties, will take place on the roof of the Department of Environmental Protection’s Port Richmond Waste Water Treatment Facility, the Staten Island Ferry Maintenance Facility, and the Herbert Lehman and John F. Kennedy Schools in the Bronx. The panels are expected to be installed the end of 2013.

The solar panels will generate enough energy to power 245 homes and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 1,636 metric tons a year, said Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway.

“Now we’re really going to make a dent in converting to cleaner fuels to meet the city’s tremendous power needs,” Holloway said. “This is a good step in the right direction.”

The panels will be installed in a partnership with Tangent Energy Solutions, which will foot the bill for the installation, Holloway said.

The Port Richmond plant’s 200,00 square-foot roof will have more solar panels than any other facility, said Dean Turner, the chief operating officer for Tangent.

The panels will provide enough energy to power 10 percent of the wastewater plant, and will reduce the strain on energy grids, said DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland.

“This is especially significant during the hot summer months, when the electricity grids become strained,” Strickland said. “The less power this plant needs from the grid, the more power there is for everyone else.”

The plant already has the city’s largest cool roof — which reduces the amount of energy absorbed by the roof and reflects more light into the solar panels — which was installed last year. When the installation is finished, it will have one of the largest solar arrays in the city.

The project will also help the city reach their goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2017, part of their PlaNYC plan.

“This is a project that is very much aligned with that goal,” Holloway said.

The city has already reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 16 percent, Holloway said.

Construction is expected to start on the Port Richmond plant in the summer, Turner said.