Proposed bill puts solar on NYC public building roofs
Monday, October 2, 2023
A proposed bill aims to have solar panels placed on the roofs of all public buildings in New York City.
The bill's goal is 100 megawatts of solar on city-owned buildings by 2025. It also expands a target of getting 150 megawatts into private buildings by 2030. Because the bill is still relatively new, there has not been much opposition to it.
Lenore Friedlaender, executive director of Climate Jobs New York, described some of the opportunities this bill creates.
"If the city retains ownership, it can pay for itself in 20 years," Friedlaender explained. "And not only reduce energy costs, but also generate some income, because electricity generated over what is needed in the schools can be sold back."
Several proposals are pushing new requirements to aid New York in reaching its 2025 solar energy goals and 2030 renewable goals.
Friedlaender noted the bill strengthens such legislation as Local Law 97, which enforces new energy-efficiency and greenhouse-gas emissions limits by 2024. Stricter limits would take effect six years later in 2030.
In addition to the benefits for climate goals, the new bill creates a series of new jobs in the state's green economy. A report from the New York State Comptroller's Office finds close to 85% of green jobs were in increased demand.
Emanuel Yllescas, member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 3, said the bill provides a boost to construction jobs.
"The jobs it will provide in the city are going to be jobs in photovoltaic solar energy, which is the solar panels, wind energy, geothermal energy and hydro energy," Yllescas outlined.
A 2021 study by New York's Just Transition Working Group found New York City might add around 45,000 green jobs by the end of the decade.
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