New York City is funding the installation of 6.25 MW of solar power systems at 24 public schools as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio's green buildings plan.
In addition to $23 million in city funds, the 24 new installations will also receive an estimated $5 million in grants from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). In early September, NYSERDA and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) launched a program to promote the installation on public schools statewide.
NYPA and the Department of Citywide Administrative Services will implement the projects, in partnership with the Department of Education. The solar installations will be paired with an environmental curriculum plan, including dashboards and Web portals where students can track in real time what the systems are generating and the amount of emissions that have been offset, and undertake related analyses of the systems' impacts.
The new solar projects are part of a larger city commitment to achieve an 80% reduction in its greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions over 2005 levels by 2050. The so-called One City, Built to Last program focuses on reducing emissions from buildings, which account for nearly three-quarters of the city's GHG emissions. De Blasio has committed to retrofitting city-owned buildings with significant energy use by 2025, including installing 100 MW of solar power.
Additionally, the city will spur private building owners to invest in efficiency upgrades through a program of targets, incentives and mandates. In particular, the city wants an additional 250 MW of solar power on private buildings.