New York City Passes Century Mark For Solar Generation
New York City residents and businesses are using the power of the sun to generate more than 100 megawatts of clean, renewable power.
Con Edison customers in the city have completed 9,700 projects, producing 101.2 megawatts. That’s enough to power more than 15,000 homes.
Just a decade ago, solar panels were rare in New York City. But Con Edison, Sustainable CUNY (at the City University of New York), government agencies, and other parties have encouraged residents and businesses to consider solar as a way to reduce their energy bills and protect the environment.
“One of the most striking trends within the transformation of the energy industry is the move of customers to renewables,” said Matthew Ketschke, Con Edison’s vice president, Distributed Resource Integration. “We want clean energy, including solar, to be available for customers of all income levels and regardless of whether they live in a house or an apartment. We also advocate policies that ensure funding for the kind of robust grid that makes solar energy possible.”
The owners of Utley’s Inc. installed panels on their manufacturing building in Woodside, Queens in the fall of 2015 and estimate their annual electricity savings at about $5,000. The panels produce 24 kilowatts.
“Solar panels have been a great investment for our business,” said John Utley, who owns the company with his brother George Utley. “We expect to recoup our investment in less than five years. It was a great business and environmental decision.”
Utley’s makes prototype containers for the cosmetics and liquor industries.
Con Edison tries to make the interconnection process as easy and quick as possible for customers who choose solar. The company does not require an engineering review for systems under 25 kilowatts. A page on Con Edison’s website explains the installation process.
The company even installed solar panels on a roof at its headquarters building in Manhattan. The 200 panels generate 40 kilowatts.
Con Edison has proposed placing solar panels on its rooftops and properties and making that power available to low-income customers, a group that now has limited access to solar.
The company is also a member of the Solar Progress Partnership, a group of six New York State utilities and four leading solar companies. The group wants solar energy to continue to develop in a way that is fair to all customers and that provides adequate funding for a reliable grid.
Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. [NYSE: ED], one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $12 billion in annual revenues and $48 billion in assets. The utility delivers electricity, natural gas and steam to about 3.4 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, N.Y. Learn more about the company's energy efficiency programs.