NYC Deputy Mayor Caswell Holloway recently announced plans to outfit the empty rooftop of a Department of Environmental Protection wastewater treatment plant in Staten Island with enough photovoltaic panels to power about 169 homes in the area annually. The new installation in Port Richmond will be the largest in a series of four solar panel arrays citywide between Staten Island and the Bronx. Collectively, the installations will eliminate as much as 1,636 metric tons of greenhouse gases a year, power 245 homes annually and aid in Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC goal to reduce greenhouse gases by 30 percent by 2017.
Collectively, the solar panels generate about 10 percent of the plant’s total power each year, reserving space for other city needs on the power grid, especially during summer months when people are blasting their air conditioners. The city, which will not own the solar panels, but will instead purchase just the energy generated from them, has partnered with Tangent Energy Solutions of Pennsylvania, who will find financiers for the project. The city will save more than $8 million through this partnership and will also create 40 new green jobs.
“On hot summer days when energy demand reaches peak levels, centralized generation is maxed out and transmission distribution lines are stressed, distribution generation facilities like these provide a cost-effective way to maintain system reliability without relying on costly fossil fuels,” said Dave Turner, COO of Tangent to Silive.
The Port Richmond Wastewater Treatment Plant will boast one of the largest solar arrays in the city. The 200,000 square roof of the building features a “cool roof” white geomembrane that reduces energy absorbed by the roof and reflects back the sun which will be absorbed by the solar panels and increase their efficiency.
Other sites implementing this public-private partnership program include a Staten Island Ferry maintenance building in St. George, and Herbert Lehman and John F. Kennedy high schools in the Bronx.