UPROSE, partners contracted for New York’s first cooperatively-owned community solar array

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) 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 a 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 James Patchett, president and CEO of. “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.

“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 home ownership 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,” said Christopher J. Collins, Executive Director, Solar One.

UPROSE, along with partners Co-op Power, Solar One, 770 Electric Corp and Resonant Energy will develop an 80,000 square ft. community solar garden on the roof of BAT’s Building B.

“Renewable energy is vital to meeting our urgent climate goals,” said Mark Chambers, director of the 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.”

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 BAT 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.

“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.”

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 MW of electricity and directly supporting more than 2,700 jobs across the five boroughs. Another 60 MW is being installed. These efforts support the Mayor’s goal of installing 1 GW of solar capacity citywide by 2030, enough to power 250,000 homes.

Interested residents and businesses can visit SunsetParkSolar.org for more information.

News item from NYCEDC

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