February 10, 2022
The City Now Generates 16 Megawatts of Solar Power on City Properties
NEW YORK – The NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) and the NYC Department of Education (DOE) today announced that the City of New York achieved a key milestone in generating solar power on City properties. With the completion of a rooftop solar installation at Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Education High School in Jamaica Hills, Queens, the City will generate 16 megawatts (MW) of solar power on City properties annually. This is enough energy to power over 2,600 average American homes each year. The new installation at Edison will generate 579 kilowatts (kW) of energy, enough to offset 65% of the school’s annual energy use. In addition to generating clean energy, the solar installation will also serve as a resource to teach students about green energy, climate change, and careers in the solar field.
The installation at Edison High School is one of 60 solar installations located at New York City public schools. Collectively, the City generates 75% of its solar power from installations on public school facilities.
“Solar installations on our public schools help the City reduce emissions while providing valuable learning opportunities for students,” said NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Dawn M. Pinnock. “New York City is leading the way by generating clean energy on City properties and is on target to reduce emissions from government operations 50% by 2030.”
“When a young person graduates from a New York City public school they should have the skills and experience needed to get a good job and be a part of revitalizing our city,” said Schools Chancellor David Banks. “Programs like the Solar CTE program not only set our students up for lifelong achievement, but engage them in being the creators of a greener, more sustainable New York City.”
In 2016, DCAS assessed all City-owned buildings larger than 10,000 gross square feet for solar readiness and identified nearly 55 MW of rooftop solar potential. To date, the City has installed over 16 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels across 110 projects, fulfilling 16% of the City's goal of 100 MW by the end of 2025. Sixty of the 110 completed solar projects have been on DOE schools (12.2 MW installed), representing over 75% of the total Citywide installed capacity. Overall, installed solar capacity on City-owned buildings has increased by 15 MW since 2014, when less than one MW was installed.
One of the largest career and technical education (CTE) schools in New York City, Edison High School is an example of the City’s success investing in sustainability and educating the green workforce of the future. Edison offers a program to prepare students for careers in green energy. Programs like this will help ensure New York City has the workforce it needs to achieve the City’s ambitious goal of generating 100 MW of solar power on City properties by the end of 2025.
The City facilitates sustainability education and workforce development opportunities for New York City’s youth through the NYC DOE’s Office of Sustainability’s NYC Solar Schools Program by providing free professional learning for any interested public school teacher in partnership with Solar One, a local nonprofit organization. As part of the education program, the Solar CTE Program provides participating high school students with curricular and technical instruction and work-based learning opportunities to prepare them for college or careers in the field. At Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Education High School, students in the electrical course track participate in the NYC Solar Schools Program to gain hands-on training that can be directly applicable to future jobs and careers.
Nationwide, the New York City public school system has one of the largest offerings of CTE programs, with 300 CTE programs in over 135 high schools and over 60,000 participating students. In New York City, over 1,350 DOE educators and more than 3,200 students have participated in the NYC Solar Schools Program to receive support and resources to integrate and practice clean energy and sustainability education in their classrooms.
“The success of the City’s clean energy goals is heavily reliant on our schools for large-scale installation of solar arrays on DOE buildings, as well as the availability of options and opportunities to teach, train, and support our students and educators in climate action and education,” said John Shea, Chief Executive Officer of the NYC Department of Education’s Division of School Facilities. “We are motivated by the scale of this opportunity to have NYC school communities and buildings help to make a positive and sustainable impact.”
Solar installations on City properties will help the City achieve its goal of reducing emissions from city government operations 40% by 2025 and 50% by 2030.
About the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services
The Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) provides effective shared services to support the operations of New York City government. Its commitment to equity, effectiveness, and sustainability guides its work with City agencies on recruiting, hiring, and training employees; providing facilities management for 55 public buildings; acquiring, selling, and leasing city property; purchasing more than $1 billion in supplies and equipment each year; and implementing conservation and safety programs throughout the city's facilities and vehicle fleet. Learn more about DCAS by visiting nyc.gov/dcas or by following us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and listening to the Inside Citywide podcast.
About the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Sustainability
Located in the NYC DOE’s Division of School Facilities, the DOE Office of Sustainability drives transformative change in all NYC schools through resources and programs that increase efficiency of facilities, address environmental impacts, and aim to provide all stakeholders with opportunities for action. Education is integral to their work to deliver purposeful and comprehensive stakeholder engagement, greater climate resiliency, expanded climate literacy, and opportunities for student empowerment to better ensure social equity and a healthy environment for all generations.