January 23, 2023
Resilient solar installations with battery backup at FDNY firehouses is step forward towards clean power, and reduce pollution and the risk of respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses in communities across the city
NEW YORK – NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) Commissioner Dawn M. Pinnock today announced the completion of newly installed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at six New York City Fire Department (FDNY) fire houses in Queens and Brooklyn. In addition to generating emissions-free energy, these systems will use battery storage to ensure that the firehouses remain operational during blackouts, brownouts, or storms if electric service is interrupted. The project will advance the City’s goal of reducing emissions from city government operations and reflects the City’s commitment to resiliency by ensuring that critical infrastructure remains operable during emergency situations. The installation of the solar PV systems totaled $2.4 million. The project was funded by DCAS and managed by DCAS and the New York Power Authority.
"Making our city more resilient and sustainable is a key priority of my administration, and we are already 'Getting Stuff Done,'" said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. "By installing these solar panels on six of our firehouses, we can not only reduce strain on our electric grid, but also improve air quality and lower our carbon footprint."
“FDNY firehouses are among the most critical infrastructure in our city, and it’s imperative that its key functions remain operable in the face of power loss,” said DCAS Commissioner Dawn M. Pinnock. “We are proud to work with NYPA to bring these solar upgrades to firehouses that need it the most in our pursuit to better serve all New Yorkers. Work like this is how we build a stronger, more resilient New York.”
“Firehouses are an integral part of keeping our city safe and remaining operational is critically important to the safety of our city,” said Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh. “We are happy to partner with NYPA to lower our carbon footprint, and bring solar upgrades to more of our firehouses. We know this is a pathway to a more sustainable, safer city.”
“Energy storage systems, especially in critical facilities, make clean energy resources more dependable and are crucial for communities who have been disproportionately impacted by pollution from power plants,” said Kizzy Charles-Guzman, Executive Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice. “This significant investment in improving local air quality will advance equity and resiliency for all New Yorkers, and is another way New York is leading by example.”
“New York’s first responders are the best in the nation, and they deserve facilities that are as prepared and reliable as they are,” said NYPA Acting President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll. “NYPA is proud to work with DCAS and FDNY to install solar PV systems that improve the energy infrastructure reliability of New York City fire stations while shrinking their carbon footprint.”
Each of the six firehouses now feature a solar PV system installed on the roof and are paired with a battery bank which keeps them charged in case of an outage. The batteries are wired to power critical functions in the firehouse whenever power is lost. Among these functions are the ability to operate the roll up doors, communication devices, fuel pumps, some of the lights, and electrical outlets. Solar panels and batteries are the key elements to provide emergency and resilient energy. Unlike generators, the solar PV panels with batteries can provide quiet and continuous energy regardless of a fuel shortage. The solar PV systems will also conserve energy and save the City money by offsetting electrical usage.
The six firehouses were selected for this upgrade because they had all recently experienced power outages. The six sites are as follows:
DCAS is currently planning new future resilient solar PV storage projects with an emphasis on prioritizing additional firehouses, police stations, libraries, and other critical facilities.
About the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services
The NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) makes city government work for all New Yorkers. Our commitment to equity, effectiveness, and sustainability guides our work providing City agencies with the resources and support needed to succeed, including: