Clean & Renewable Energy

6,520 KW of combined heat & power
and natural gas-based distributed
generation installed at City facilities; 25,100 KW in the pipeline.

672 KW of solar installed at
City facilities; an additional 1,745 KW is in the pipeline.

The City is pursuing a variety of clean distributed generation (Clean DG) technologies. Clean DG is on-site energy generation that uses clean or renewable fuel sources to produce electricity and, in some cases, steam or hot water. Clean DG includes reciprocating engines, microturbines and fuel cells as well as solar photovoltaic (PV), solar thermal, wind, and biomass technologies.


Co-generation and Natural Gas-based Distributed Generation
Cogeneration or Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is the combined production of thermal and electric energy. Heat created in the electricity generation process is used for steam, domestic hot water, and other on-site thermal needs. In addition to improving a building's energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, CHP technologies help alleviate grid constraints, lower energy costs, and provide operational independence. The City has several CHP projects completed and underway:

  • A five Megawatt cogeneration plant, a fleet of micro-turbines and a fuel cell are in operation at the Bronx Zoo. Read more about the Bronx Zoo's clean DG installations in this case study.
  • Fuel cells have been installed at Coney Island Aquarium and several wastewater treatment plants.
  • A 15 Megawatt Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant at Rikers Island is in construction.
  • A ten Megawatt cogeneration plant at the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant, where cogeneration was found by a federally-funded investment-grade study to have significant environmental, economic and operational benefits, is in design.

Renewable Energy
The City is exploring a range of cost-effective renewable energy applications and emerging technologies to harness solar, wind, and biomass sources. These projects include:

  • Third-party ownership and installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on City buildings through a power purchase agreement (PPA).
  • Rooftop solar PV systems federally funded through the State Energy Program at three police precincts, three garages, and two firehouses.
  • Solar PV systems at the Bronx High School of Science, Brooklyn Children's Museum, Queens Botanical Garden, and New York Hall of Science. Read the case study on the 16 KW solar PV system at the Hall of Science.
  • Solar hot water systems at various firehouses and one recreation center. See the case study about solar thermal at a firehouse in the Bronx.