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PR- 423-07
November 20, 2007


New Solar Energy Panels In Rockefeller Roof will Help Power Energy-Saving LED Lights on Iconic Tree Visited by 500,000 New Yorkers and Tourists Every Day

Comprehensive Greening of Rockefeller Center Also Includes Green Roof for Radio City and Ice Chiller Plant

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Tishman Speyer Chairman and CEO Jerry I. Speyer and Tishman Speyer Managing Director Tom Madden today announced a number of energy conservation initiatives for Rockefeller Center, including the first-ever “green” Christmas tree and a new solar energy roof.  The solar energy roof, which will be the largest privately owned solar energy generation station in Manhattan, will conserve energy during peak usage times year-round and help power the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree’s new energy-efficient LED lights. The Mayor and Tishman Speyer also announced the installation of a new green roof atop Radio City Music Hall that will minimize wastewater and cool the area, and an ice chiller plant to cool the entire complex and reduce energy consumption. Both will be completed in 2008.

“The tree at Rockefeller Center is one of New York City’s most beloved and iconic landmarks, and with the environmental steps that Tishman Speyer has implemented this year, the 500,000 New Yorkers and tourists that visit the tree each day can dream of a ‘green’ Christmas,” said Mayor Bloomberg.  “When we developed PlaNYC, we hoped that public leadership would inspire private-sector creativity and investment in a greener, greater New York, and I want to commend Jerry and Rob Speyer for stepping up and meeting that challenge.”
“The green initiatives we are putting in place make Rockefeller Center a leader for environmental innovation,” said Jerry I. Speyer. “We have here the largest private solar roof in Manhattan, which will help conserve energy, eliminate carbon dioxide, and power the 30,000 LED lights on our iconic Christmas tree. These environmental investments reflect our sense of responsibility as protectors of our local landscape, as corporate citizens of our great city, and as partners in a global community. Mayor Bloomberg has made environmental responsibility a cornerstone of his administration and we are proud to have him with us today.”

Tishman Speyer has installed 363 General Electric solar panels on the roof of 45 Rockefeller Plaza to help reduce the building’s electricity consumption. The panels, designed by the company AltPower, will create a 70 kilowatt DC generation station that is tied to the Rockefeller Center grid. The solar-powered energy will help reduce peak electrical demand, especially during sun-intensive summer months when electricity use increases, which will in turn alleviate pressure on New York City’s electrical grid. The solar roof will keep 67,392 lbs of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere each year and more than 2,000,000 lbs over its 30-year lifespan.

The lights on this year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will represent the latest in energy-efficient LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology. The tree’s 30,000 LEDs, on five miles of wire, will draw a fraction of the power that is traditionally required by the tree, reducing energy consumption from 3,510 kilowatt hours to 1,297 kilowatt hours per day, saving as much energy as a single family would use in a month in a 2,000 square foot home. The new solar energy roof will generate more electricity in its first year than the tree lights will consume over the 42 days they will be illuminated.

For the first time this year, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree was cut with a handheld saw this year to reduce energy use. Tishman Speyer is replanting/re-greening the land where the tree came from and recycling all appropriate materials used during the cutting event. Upon completion of the holiday season, the tree will be milled and treated and made into lumber to be used by Habitat for Humanity.

The Mayor and Tishman Speyer also announced the installation of a “green roof” atop Radio City Music Hall and an ice chiller plant to help cool the entire complex and reduce energy consumption. The 18,000 square foot roof will be converted using desert plantings that require little water in summer and go dormant in winter. The roof will, in one year, save approximately 566,000 gallons of water from the combined wastewater/stormwater system in New York City, reducing the overflow of wastewater into our rivers on rainy days. The green roof will also have a cooling effect in midtown Manhattan – again, helping to reduce overall energy demand in the hot summer months. Also, the living plants on the roof will absorb carbon dioxide as part of photosynthesis, so oxygen is emitted and greenhouse gases are reduced. In addition, the roof can provide a habitat for certain migrating species.

A new ice making and storage plant consisting of 47 water tanks, each 11 feet tall, is being installed at Rockefeller Center, beginning this month, to help cool the complex and reduce energy consumption. Under this system, ice will be created overnight when energy demand in the city is lower. During business hours, water used in air conditioning for the office spaces will be redirected through the ice and cooled to provide comfort cooling for the tenants.  This is an extraordinarily efficient system that will reduce energy use at Rockefeller Center, thereby reducing demand on the City’s overall electricity grid during hot weather. In addition, Tishman Speyer will power the ice storage refrigeration plant with energy purchased through wind generated facilities.  The ice-chiller plant’s energy conservation represents the equivalent of taking over 300 cars off American’s roads each year or planting 450 acres of trees.


Stu Loeser/Matthew Kelly   (212) 788-2958


Iva Benson (Rubenstein)   (212) 843-8271

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