First Cooperatively-Owned Solar Garden in New York State Coming to the Brooklyn Army Terminal
NYCEDC selects UPROSE, Solar One, and Co-op Power to Develop Rooftop Solar Garden
Cooperatively-Owned Community Solar Project Will Connect Sunset Park Residents, Businesses to Clean Energy Alternative
SUNSET PARK, BROOKLYN—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced the selection of UPROSE, Solar One and Co-op Power to develop and operate a community solar garden at the Brooklyn Army Terminal (BAT). The rooftop solar array will be the first cooperatively-owned project if its kind in New York State, and will connect hundreds of New Yorkers and industrial businesses to sustainable energy through an affordable subscription-based service.
“The Brooklyn Army Terminal is one of the most innovative and accessible industrial campuses in the world. We’re using its vast rooftop space to create new capacity for solar power in New York City and deliver a sustainable energy alternative to the surrounding community,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “One hundred years after its groundbreaking, BAT continues to redefine itself and how it gives back to the city around it.”
While the use of solar technology has increased over the years, installation costs, space requirements, and a lack of rooftop ownership has made investing in solar energy challenging in New York City. By leveraging space at BAT, a City-owned asset, the solar garden will offset energy costs for subscribers. These subscribers will cooperatively own the solar array, participate in the project’s governance, and potentially earn dividends in the long-term.
Interested residents and businesses can visit SunsetParkSolar.org for more information.
UPROSE, along with partners Co-op Power, Solar One, 770 Electric Corp and Resonant Energy will develop an 80,000 square foot community solar garden on the roof of BAT’s Building B. Once up and running in late 2019, subscribers will join the New York City Community Energy Cooperative and make monthly payments in exchange for solar energy credits that reduce their energy bills. The project is expected to serve approximately 200 households and businesses, and result in more than $1 million in net electricity bill savings for New Yorkers over 25 years.
While similar programs have been launched in Minnesota, Colorado, and Massachusetts, all resulting in energy cost-savings, the project at the Brooklyn Army Terminal is unique for leveraging rooftop space in a dense urban setting and sharing its ownership with subscribers.
Solar installation company 770 Electric Corp. will hire local job trainees to help install the project. As part of their community engagement, UPROSE will also recruit residents to participate in a free solar installation training program facilitated by Solar One.
"I’m proud that two environmental organizations in my district, UPROSE, a leader in environmental justice, and Solar One, a leader in local shared solar, have been selected to partner in this innovative community solar project," said Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY). "Community outreach, education and participation is key, and UPROSE is well suited to maximize local workforce development. I am particularly excited that they will be recruiting unemployed residents to participate in a free solar installation training program. The devastation of Hurricane Sandy, fueled by climate change, left its mark on the Sunset Park waterfront. This project will help Sunset Park take advantage of that waterfront to harness solar power and be at the forefront of sustainable climate solutions."
“One of my first initiatives as Brooklyn borough president was the creation of my Renewable and Sustainable Energy Taskforce (ReSET). I believe it is essential to clean and green Brooklyn’s energy consumption, making our borough a model for our city and country. Solar One and UPROSE are great non-profit organizations that are committed to advancing the twin missions of affordability and sustainability. The sun is rising on a new day on Sunset Park, and this community solar garden captures and harnesses that beautiful energy,” said Brooklyn Brough President Eric L. Adams.
“A working waterfront means a waterfront that works for every New Yorker, especially those who are often left behind by new investment and development. The new Community Solar Garden will advance that cause, and I am proud that Sunset Park will host the first-ever cooperatively-owned solar project in New York State. This is an example of what happens when government takes seriously its responsibility to give the community a seat at the table in every aspect of governance and maintenance of the City. However, we must ensure the promise is delivered, and I will work with NYCEDC, UPROSE, and Solar One to ensure local Sunset Park residents reap the benefits of this new and exciting solar project,” said City Council Member Carlos Menchaca.
“Not only will this project be the first of its kind in NYC, allow hundreds of New Yorkers and businesses to offset their energy costs and create new jobs, it will also help move our city closer to embracing clean energy and a green future,” said Council Member Paul Vallone, Chair of the Committee on Economic Development. “I look forward to the continued growth of solar power throughout NYC and to future projects at the Brooklyn Army Terminal that will help to grow our economy.”
“It is so appropriate that The Brooklyn Army Terminal is emerging as both a manufacturing and solar energy hub. We should be incorporating clean energy into development projects whenever possible. I am happy to see local grassroots organizations such as UPROSE taking part in this innovative project and I look forward to seeing long-term Sunset Park residents being trained and hired for the jobs to come,” said State Senator Velmanette Montgomery.
"Brooklyn can help lead the nation with this new solar power project. As we strive to end our reliance on fossil fuels and work to improve Planet Earth and the environment, use of solar power and other methods will help us in so many ways. Let's make sure everyone knows about this new cost savings and energy efficient project at the Brooklyn Army Terminal,” said Assistant Speaker Felix W. Ortiz.
“We are excited about the incredible opportunities provided to us by the development of community solar at Brooklyn Army Terminal. UPROSE has long held that the crisis of climate change must be addressed by expanding democratic control over resources and elevating community into positions of leadership and decision-making. This is particularly true in environmental justice communities like Sunset Park,” said Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director, UPROSE. “We commend the NYC Economic Development Corporation for recognizing this opportunity, and we look forward to developing an innovative solar project that brings clean renewable energy to Sunset Park community members, utilizes public assets for maximum public benefit, and takes us one step closer towards climate justice and a just transition for a frontline neighborhood.”
"Ownership is the key! We want to thank the New York City Economic Development Corporation for working together with our partners and us to create an incredible opportunity for people in the Sunset Park community of Brooklyn to own something of great value: a shared solar array. This project will provide not only the economic benefits of owning a large shared solar array but also the political and social benefits that go along with ownership,” said Shakoor Aljuwani, Coordinator, New York City Community Energy Cooperative (Co-op Power).
"Sunset Park Solar is a powerful example of community-driven renewable energy development. This project demonstrates that all New Yorkers, regardless of income, employment or homeownership status, can play a meaningful role in our transition to clean energy. We applaud NYCEDC for their leadership on this initiative and look forward to supporting its success,” Christopher J. Collins, Executive Director, Solar One.
"770 Electric Corp. could not be more proud to be part of this fantastic community-based solar project at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. As a local Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) solar installer, we understand the importance of these projects to bringing renewable power to a broader demographic,” said Sandy Bar, President, 770 Electric Corp. This project will give many local electric rate payers access to clean renewable power at an affordable rate. We are honored to be a part of this team, and to support the proliferation of clean energy in many more communities throughout New York. We can only hope that with the success of this project, NYCEDC will continue to utilize its roofs to make solar more accessible across New York City."
"It is long past time for low-income communities to start seeing meaningful benefits from the clean energy revolution. We are proud to bring our years of solar development expertise to this Brooklyn Army Terminal project, which demonstrates both the environmental and social impact that our industry is capable of,” said Isaac Baker, Co-Founder, Resonant Energy.
“Renewable energy is vital to meeting our urgent climate goals,” said Mark Chambers, Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “As the first-cooperatively owned community solar garden anywhere in the state, this project will bring solar power to hundreds of families and businesses who otherwise lack access to clean energy alternatives. This groundbreaking project’s benefits don’t end there: it will also result in cleaner air, lower costs, and more jobs for New York City.”
“Sustainable CUNY is proud to be working with the NYC Economic Development Corporation through the NYC Solar Partnership to support shared solar projects like the Brooklyn Army Terminal Solar Garden,” said Tria Case, University Director of Sustainability and Energy Conservation. “Projects like this and the Partnership’s recently launched Shared Solar Gateway are helping to open the door to solar access for more New Yorkers.”
"The New York City Environmental Justice Alliance is enthusiastic to support UPROSE’s leadership in bringing the benefits of clean and renewable energy to deserving Sunset Park residents. This project, being the first of its kind, will provide essential lessons on how to expand renewable and clean energy opportunities to environmental justice communities long overdue for solutions that meaningfully dismantle disproportionate environmental, economic, and energy burdens. This project is a vital first step to addressing environmental justice and just transition goals across our City and State,” said Eddie Bautista, Executive Director, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance.
BAT has emerged as a hub for modern manufacturing in New York, with over 100 companies making everything from high-end chocolate to 3D printed clothing and sustainable furniture. Earlier this year, NYCEDC celebrated BAT’s 100th year by unveiling half-a-million square feet of space for over 1,000 new jobs, welcoming an impressive roster of innovative tenants, and launching forward-looking initiatives to connect residents to modern skills and job opportunities. Today, the campus is home to nearly 4,000 jobs.
Since the start of the de Blasio administration, solar power capacity has more than quadrupled, providing more than 140 megawatts (MW) of electricity and directly supporting more than 2,700 jobs across the five boroughs. Another 60 MW are in the process of being installed. These efforts support the Mayor’s goal of installing 1 gigawatt of solar capacity citywide by 2030, enough to power 250,000 homes.
New York City Economic Development Corporation creates shared prosperity across New York City’s five boroughs by strengthening neighborhoods and creating good jobs. NYCEDC works with and for communities to provide them with the resources they need to thrive, and we invest in projects that increase sustainability, support job growth, develop talent, and spark innovation to strengthen the City’s competitive advantage. To learn more about our work and initiatives, please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.