Image via 350.org flickr
Con Edison announced Monday that the utility company will offer solar panels and batteries to 300 Brooklyn and Queens homes as part of a plan to create a virtual power plant for the city’s power grid, as the company outlines in a “Clean Virtual Power Plant” implementation plan (pdf). Quartz reports that Con Ed, partnered with solar-panel manufacturer Sunpower and energy storage company SunVerge, plans to use these “grid assets” as backup power and as a source of electricity and balancing services for the grid.
Residential Con Ed customers will be able to lease the solar and lithium-ion battery systems from the power company for a small fee that will appear on their bill. There is currently no net metering method in place for the homeowners to sell power back to the grid as some individual solar panel users do, though ConEd says that if the project is successful it will allow suppliers/aggregators of solar rooftop and battery systems to sell to the grid.
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Installing solar systems in NYC can be tricky due to strict regulations and the complexity of buildings sites. But yesterday, 6sqft shared Brooklyn Solar Works‘ and Situ Studio‘s clever Solar Canopy, which “not only adheres to the city’s strict building codes, but has been developed specifically for the characteristically flat rooftops of NYC.” The A-frame structures’ columns bolt to rails attached to a building and are oriented at a 33-degree pitch to maximize panel efficiency when pointed south. And since they have a head clearance of ten feet, they don’t eat up roof space.
They’ve already been installed atop homes in Brooklyn, but at a price point of around $30,000 (though tax incentives bring that down to about $7,000) and a pretty obvious visual presence, can Solar Canopies replace traditional solar panel systems in the city?
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Brooklyn SolarWorks and Situ Studio have devised a clever and flexible solar panel system that not only adheres to the city’s strict building codes, but has been developed specifically for the characteristically flat rooftops of NYC. The “Solar Canopy,” as it has been named, is designed as a tent-like structure with a coverage of 2.5-feet by five-feet and a head clearance of ten feet above its pathway—plenty more than the nine feet required by the city. SolarWorks and Situ have already installed their Solar Canopy at several properties in Brooklyn, including atop homes in Bed-Stuy, Park Slope and Crown Heights.
find out more here
Raising the windmill on the roof of 519. Photo credit: Travis Price via Gothamist
If you want to build a windmill today, you can thank a handful of dedicated tenants in a building at 519 East 11th Street in the East Village of the 1970s.
The story of the Alphabet City windmill is one of many stories, recounted in Gothamist, from the bad old days of Loisaida–as the East Village‘s far eastern avenues, also known as Alphabet City, were once called–the kind the neighborhood’s elder statesmen regale you with, knowing well that you know nothing firsthand of a neighborhood of burned-out buildings and squatters who bought their homes for a buck. But this particular story isn’t one of riots or drug deals on the sidewalk; it’s one of redemption, no matter how brief in the context of time.
The windmill was installed above an East Village building that was saved by the community, built and lifted to the roof by hand–or many hands. According to legend, the windmill kept the lights on during the chaos of the 1977 blackout.
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JPods, East River Skyway, an expanding Citi Bike—if one thing is clear, New York City’s rapidly growing population has gotten a lot of people worried about how our already taxed infrastructure is going to account for all of these new bodies. The latest transportation idea to come out of the woodwork is not necessarily a new one, but it’s one that’s recently found a new boost thanks to interest and funding provided by everyone’s favorite search giant: Google. Called “SkySMART,” this new idea for mobility utilizes a series of sun- and pedal-powered pods that run along an elevated rail high above city traffic.
More on Skysmart here
- A new report by the European Union says that solar power’s economic impact is very costly and much worse than wind and hydroelectric power. Read the details on Technology Review.
- The BUBBLE Sofa is like a colorful, puffy, cozy cloud. Freshome reveals the innovative technology behind the furniture’s fabric.
- The Inertia features the film Away, which explores the lives of three female surfers living in New York City.
- Shahla Kirimi’s new Subway Series jewelry collection lets you wear your train route as a ring or bracelet cuff. Check ’em out on Cool Hunting.
- The “new” Bronx is losing its last bookstore in the entire borough. More on Welcome2TheBronx.
Images: Solar panels (L); BUBBLE Sofa via Sacha Lakic (R)
, Tue, September 30, 2014
New York is serious about going green and Governor Cuomo just signed into law a bill to extend—and double—the possible tax breaks given to those who install solar panels on their properties. A press release notes that the break will offer a rebate of 5 percent on either the solar panel installation cost; property taxes the year panels are installed; or $62,500—whichever is less. The new bill is meant to offset the 25 percent higher cost of installing solar systems in the city due to stringent regulations and the complexity of building sites.
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- Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Sean Combs—whatever you want to call him—has re-listed his 2,292-square-foot Park Imperial loft for $7.9M. The new listing sees a $500K price reduction. [Curbed]
- New York is lagging other major cities in its pace of residential construction. Permits for 17,995 new housing units were issued in 2013—a little more than half of the units authorized in 2008. [WSJ]
- More New Yorkers are installing solar panels. The number of installations in Con-Ed serviced areas doubled last year alone. [WSJ]
- Fearing the loss of below market-rate apartments at Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, the de Blasio administration has reached an agreement to extend talks with CWCapital to find a way to preserve the complexes’ affordable units. [TRD]
- Moinian Group is expected to file for permits to break ground on its 66-story West Side tower just north of Hudson Yards. [Crain’s]
P. Diddy’s digs (left); Solar array (right)