On Wednesday, March 28, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) announced that it is attempting to bring a community rooftop solar garden to the Brooklyn Army Terminal (BAT) in hopes of bringing both affordable and sustainable energy to the Sunset Park neighborhood.
The effort launched by NYCEDC calls to provide up to 100,000 square feet of rooftop space to pilot a subscription-based, shared solar program for Sunset Park residents and local industrial businesses.
NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett discussed why this initiative is so vital, both to BAT and the neighborhood.
“The Brooklyn Army Terminal has become a hub for modern industrial businesses, and a true community asset in Sunset Park,” he said. “In launching this effort, we’re able to deliver clean, affordable energy to the community while adding to the roster of innovative products made at the Brooklyn Army Terminal.”
The program would advance Mayor Bill de Blasio’s goal of installing one gigawatt of solar power citywide by 2030.
As of now, NYCEDC is seeking proposals from experienced solar power providers and local community organizations, with the goal of the pilot program to create an affordable alternative to traditional electricity providers. According to the agency, proposals must both demonstrate a cost-savings for Sunset Park residents and a robust community-engagement plan to ensure residents have the opportunity to take advantage of the program.
Like programs in Sacramento, Washington State, and University of Maryland, the plan would be for subscribers who would pay a monthly membership fee, rather than an electricity bill.
Despite a hefty price, NYCEDC believes that by leveraging space at the BAT campus, it can offset individual costs and deliver affordable solar energy to the community.
Elected officials also chimed in on the possibility and the potential for the environmentally friendly and ambitious plan.
“More than a tree grows in Brooklyn; green energy grows here too,” added Borough President Eric Adams. “I thank NYCEDC for putting forth a plan to bring a rooftop community solar garden to our burgeoning Brooklyn Army Terminal. This project is in line with the mission of my administration’s Renewable and Sustainable Energy Taskforce (ReSET), tapping into the potential of public-private solar programs that could revolutionize the delivery of clean energy to residents and businesses in Sunset Park.”
“Solar powered energy is where our future is heading,” said Councilmember Carlos Menchaca. “I want to thank the New York City Economic Development Corporation for this initiative. I hope the RFP process allows for community engagement and resident participation. I look forward for the completion of the community solar garden at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, which will bring Sunset Park residents and small businesses in our area an affordable, clean energy.”
Proposals for the shared solar program are due by May 30. NYCEDC’s request for proposals (RFP) can be seen at https://bit.ly/2pYXAEQ.