New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, has proposed a plan to increase the amount of solar power on city buildings to five times what is currently installed.
De Blasio recently reconfirmed his support for renewables – “New York City is a global leader in taking on climate change. We have no choice but to move toward renewables and away from fossil fuels. The future of our city and the planet depends on it.”
The plan is to increase the total solar output with an additional 19 megawatts, from the approximately 5 megawatts currently installed. This will involve solar being added to an additional 88 city owned buildings from the current 35. About 66 of these buildings will be schools.
This is part of NYC’s green goal of reducing gas emissions a total of 80 percent by 2050.
It’s also an economically savvy goal as solar installations so far have saved the city about $1.2 million annually. New projects will be funded by power purchase agreements to avoid up-front costs.
It should go without saying that we need quite a few more forward-thinking political leaders of our nation’s cities. This really isn’t a radical move by de Blasio as the cost of wind and solar power are now competitive with fossil fuels, and as just mentioned, a money saver in this case.
Solar is already an easy decision in the Northeast, where electricity rates are much higher than the national average.
As one of the most influential cities in the world, the decisions that are made in NYC can have a considerable impact on many other cities in America. Other cities and towns are much more likely to look into solar power, even if the potential savings aren’t as significant as they are in the Northeast.
The big picture view here is that we are still in the very early stages for the adoption of solar power across America. It makes great financial sense in a high percentage of the country, especially in New York.