NYCHA nears completion of biggest solar project in its history

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The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is nearing
completion of a of 1.8 megawatts rooftop solar array on 27 buildings across
Queensbridge North and Queensbridge South Houses, the largest public housing
project in the country.

The installation is the first to reach completion as part of
NYCHA’s solar program, and is a part of the NYCHA Sustainability Agenda
commitment to host 25 megawatts of solar power by 2025, which will make it the
largest community shared solar project in New York City.

A solar developer team led by Bright Power, Sol Purpose, and Sunwealth Power worked with the Authority to design, install, and maintain the solar systems. NYCHA will receive $1.3 million in lease revenue over the next 20 years. 

Solar Panel installation at Queensbridge Houses with GCF Participants

As a part of the project, a cohort of NYCHA residents have
been trained in solar installation and have received their OSHA certification.
The project team has hired 13 NYCHA residents and community members as
full-time installation employees for this project, with opportunities for
advancement and permanent employment.

“NYCHA roofs are a valuable asset to drive equitable access
to solar energy, raise much-needed revenue and provide inspiring workforce
development opportunities for our residents to join the green jobs economy,” said
NYCHA Chair & CEO Gregory Russ. “This project is one of many that speak to
the Authority’s necessary work around climate resiliency and sustainability.”

Stephen Murphy, HUD Deputy Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey, said,  “NYCHA is not only generating additional revenue from leasing its rooftop space for solar, it’s also providing new job opportunities for residents and using a portion of the profits to fund scholarships for low and moderate-income New Yorkers. HUD looks forward to the completion of the remaining projects.”

The electricity generated from these systems will provide a
discounted electricity rate for approximately 470 New York City
households.  A portion of this power will
be reserved for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers, including NYCHA residents
who pay their own electric bills.  The
project will also dedicate a portion of its profits to fund scholarships for
low- and moderate-income New Yorkers.

As part of the HUD Renew300 program and the NYCHA
Sustainability Agenda, NYCHA has committed to host 25 megawatts of solar power
on its property by 2025.  The energy
produced by these installations will also contribute to meeting Mayor Bill de
Blasio’s climate change goals, including reducing greenhouse gases by at least
80 percent by 2050.

The electricity generated by the solar arrays, also known as
“community shared solar,” will belong not to NYCHA, but to residents and
neighbors who subscribe to the service. Community solar arrays allow for
renters who do not own their own roof space (or residents whose own roof space
is not suitable for solar) to access the benefits of low-cost solar power.

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