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Mayor de Blasio Announces Major Solar Investment at City Schools, Key Component of New Green Buildings Plan

On Sept. 29, Mayor de Blasio announced a major investment in solar power at City schools, funding 24 installations as part of the administration's new green buildings plan (One City, Built to Last), tripling the amount of solar currently planned on City-owned buildings, and marking another step forward as the City works to dramatically reduce its contributions to climate change.

The 24 new installations will be funded by the City, as well as by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's NY-Sun Initiative. The $28 million investment includes $23 million in City funds and an estimated $5 million in grants from NYSERDA. The Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) and the New York Power Authority will implement the projects, in partnership with the Department of Education (DOE). The planned 6.25 MW of solar power at these 24 installations will result in a reduction of more than 2,800 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year, the equivalent of taking over 600 cars off the road every year. 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 Mayor made the announcement outside the John F. Kennedy Educational Campus, which is home to a rooftop solar installation that will serve as an innovative and cost-effective model for installing solar.
The new solar projects are part of a larger commitment announced at the start of Climate Week. Last week, Mayor de Blasio announced that New York City is committed to an 80 percent reduction in its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over 2005 levels by 2050, charting a long-term path for investment in renewable sources of energy and a total transition from fossil fuels. This commitment starts with the sweeping green buildings plan announced last week.

One City, Built to Last focuses on dramatically reducing emissions from buildings, which account for nearly three-quarters of the City's GHG emissions. The Mayor has committed to retrofitting every single City-owned building with significant energy use by 2025, including installing 100 MW of solar power. 

Additionally, the City will spur private building to invest in efficiency upgrades, including by providing ambitious interim targets and incentives and implementing mandates if targets are not met. In particular, the City plans to catalyze an additional 250 MW of solar power on private buildings.

Last week's announcement can be read in full here: http://on.nyc.gov/1rDBmEy

"These 24 new solar installations at our schools mark a significant step forward, tripling the amount of solar currently on City buildings—but they're also just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how we'll dramatically reduce our contributions to climate change," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "In the next 10 years, we'll retrofit every single public building with significant energy use, and catalyze the private sector to begin to do the same, charting a path toward an 80 percent reduction in emissions by 2050 and a total transition from fossil fuels. Our very future is at stake, and New York must continue to lead the way."

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