NYPA completes Manhattan's largest public solar project - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  December 1, 2017

NYPA touts Manhattan's largest public solar project

Part of the recent solar installation at Borough of Manhattan Community College is shown in this photo courtesy of BMCC. 

The New York Power Authority, known as NYPA, recently completed the installation of the largest public solar photovoltaic project in Manhattan.

The project at Borough of Manhattan Community College, or BMCC, is also the first vertical solar facility in New York City, according to NYPA, and is expected to eventually be paired with storage once permits are obtained. In a Nov. 29 statement, the college said the project was first proposed in 2008, and its design changed as technology improved and after it removed its old roof. 

The five- by three-foot panels of 327 watts, many of which are visible from the streets of TriBeCa, are hung vertically on the cooling tower enclosure walls and flat on the western lower roof facing the Hudson River for maximum exposure to the sun. The electricity produced powers the BMCC building first with any excess generated distributed into the New York City power grid.

BMCC said it is working collaboratively with regulators, including the New York City Department of Buildings and the New York City Fire Department, for permits to store solar power in two large 100 kWh batteries. The backup batteries would serve as energy reserves during peak load periods — after a series of hot summer days — to alleviate some of the strain on the city's electrical resources, according to BMCC. In addition, the electrical reserves can provide power for critical functions, such as emergency lighting, refrigeration for scientific experiments and IT systems, power for the college’s electric vehicle and generators, in the event of a blackout or other emergency situation.

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