Thanks to new solar arrays atop ten city buildings, including three police stations, two schools, a fire station, and sanitation department garages, New York City has tripled its solar power production. Mayor Bloomberg made the announcement yesterday during a press conference at the offices of a new tech start-up, Efficiency 2.0. The new projects bring the city’s total solar production to 648 kilowatts, which is enough to power 143 households.
The good news comes just days after a new report showed that the city’s recycling rate has plummeted to a measly 17 percent. The new solar arrays will cut 205 metric tons of carbon emissions, as well as save money on power costs. The projects are part of the 143 energy upgrades that the city has implemented over the last few years as part of PlaNYC. Combine, these will save the city $32 million a year on energy costs, and another 99 projects are already in the works.
However, not everyone is happily accepting the Mayor’s announcement. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer criticized Bloomberg, stating that the city should be expanding solar power faster and on a broader scale. Earlier this year, Stringer released his own report on solar power, Rooftop Revolution, which calls for installing solar arrays on all city schools. “The increase in New York City’s solar capacity over the last six years is welcome news,” says Stringer. “But to put the Mayor’s announcement in perspective, in the last two years, New Jersey installed over 440 megawatts of solar energy. Today, the City is announcing that we have increased our capacity to 8 megawatts.”