Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the planned installation of 24 new solar panels at city schools on Monday morning.
The panels, a $28 million investment, are expected to triple the amount of solar energy on city buildings.
“We’ll install solar panels on 24 newly-roofed schools. It’s an ambitious project, but it’s a necessary one,” said de Blasio, speaking outside the John F. Kennedy Educational Campus in the Bronx, which is one of nine schools that already have solar panels. NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services’ Commissioner Stacy Cumberbatch said the additional 24 solar panels will be installed by 2016 at schools yet to be determined across the five boroughs.
The school solar panels are part of the mayor’s plan, announced last week, aimed at reducing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. “One City, Built to Last” will upgrade about 3,000 city buildings with high energy use over the next 10 years, and provides incentives for privately-owned buildings to reduce carbon emissions.
De Blasio said last week’s People’s Climate March in New York City showed that “people are ready for change,” and that the people are “in many ways … ahead of the politicians and the policymakers.” The mayor, who said alternative energy has been important to him since the 1970s, said meeting the climate change goal is a “matter of survival,” and that solar energy is a “crucial piece” of the “puzzle.”
The city contributed $23 million to the project, and an additional $5 million in grants came from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
The amount of energy saved by the panels is equivalent to taking 600 cars off the road, according to the mayor’s office, and the schools receiving the panels will have an educational component, allowing students to track the amount of offset emissions.