Almost 50 New York City public schools will get solar arrays as part of a joint project between the New York Power Authority and the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services.
“With extreme weather events increasing in frequency, New York needs to take every possible opportunity to address climate change,” said Governor Kathy Hochul. “This transformational investment in solar and energy storage will help New York meet our bold green energy goals and chart a cleaner future.”
The project also includes installing a number of solar arrays on several water treatment facilities in order to push New York state closer to the clean energy targets outlined in the 2019 Climate Act. Under the Climate Act, the state committed to rolling out 100 megawatts of solar energy systems on city-owned properties by 2025 as part of a greater effort to reduce the city’s carbon emissions by 80 % by the year 2050.
The schools have yet to be selected by state officials said construction on the panels is scheduled to begin early next year. Once the project is completed, the solar arrays will generate a combined 25 megawatts of energy, and up to 6.6 megawatts of energy storage, which is enough to provide power to up to 1,297 New York City residents and offset over 7,100 metric tons of CO2 each year or the equivalent of removing 1,553 cars from city streets.
“This school solar project will help advance the ambitious clean energy goals set by both New York State and the City,” said chairman of NYPA’s Board of Trustees John R. Koelmel. “Working with schools allows us to set a good example for young people who we hope will be the sustainability and clean energy leaders of tomorrow.”
ENGIE North America will design, construct, own and operate the school solar power systems which will be phased into operation between 2022 and 2023. Although the school sites have not been chosen yet, officials plan on selecting schools in racially and economically diverse neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs.
New York City Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter commended Gov. Hochul on Wednesday for taking steps to address the climate crisis.
“New York City schools are leading the way in sustainability and educating our young people about the importance of environmental stewardship, ” said Porter. “This project will help create a greener future for the entire community, reduce our carbon footprint, and inspire countless students to take an active role in protecting our planet.”