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Mayor Adams and NYCHA Announce Plans for the Installation of New Rooftop Solar Panels on NYCHA Buildings, Advancing Commitment to ACCESSolar, Which Aims to Achieve 30 Megawatts of Solar by 2026, Reducing Electricity Rates for Low-to-Moderate-Income Households

Solicitation invites partners to submit plans for 10 megawatts of solar panels to be installed on NYCHA buildings beginning in 2024. This solicitation builds on the 6.7 megawatts of solar panels that have already been completed, with another 3 megawatts underway this year. 

This trailblazing green energy initiative builds on the Adams administration’s PlaNYC while advancing NYCHA’s Sustainability Agenda. 


NEW YORK – In celebration of Earth Month, Mayor Eric Adams and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) today announced plans to advance the Accelerating Community-Empowered Shared Solar (ACCESSolar) program as an investment in green energy that reduces electricity rates for low-to-moderate-income (LMI) New York City households. This initiative, which installs rooftop solar panels, is part of NYCHA’s commitment to host a total of 30 megawatts (MW) of solar by 2026 as identified in the Authority’s Sustainability Agenda. This is in addition to the City’s larger 100 MW goal, while complementing the solar initiatives recently outlined by the Adams administration in PlaNYC. In keeping with these extraordinary objectives, NYCHA has launched a solicitation inviting partners to submit plans for 10 more MW of solar panels. NYCHA began this initiative in 2017 and has already installed 6.7 MW on NYCHA and PACT rooftops, with another three MW underway this year. This announcement will bring NYCHA to a total of 19.7 MW of solar, two-thirds of the way to the 2026 goal. 

“In the last week, our administration has taken major steps to remove barriers for solar panels and train the next generation of New Yorkers to install them. Today, we have a new plan to put new solar panels in place for the New Yorkers who need them most — our NYCHA residents,” said Mayor Eric Adams. “Lower-income communities are on the front lines of the climate crisis but so often lack the resources to make the changes that they and their children need. We are excited to bring solar energy to public housing in all five boroughs and deliver a cleaner, greener, and more prosperous future for our city.” 

“The ACCESSolar program will reduce tenant utility bills, lower NYCHA’s carbon footprint, and provide green jobs for residents,” said Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz. “Creating sustainable infrastructure and good jobs for public housing residents is part of the Mayor’s housing and homelessness blueprint, and we’re proud to see this project continue.” 

“Installing solar panels on NYCHA rooftops is a great way to create clean energy for New York City households, including for public housing residents,” said NYCHA Interim CEO Lisa Bova-Hiatt. “With more than 300 developments across the five boroughs, we are pleased to join and contribute to the citywide efforts to expand this important and sustainable energy source."

“We know what we need to do to fight climate change as we work to make our ambitious plans a reality. I am excited by NYCHA’s effort to utilize their abundant rooftop space to harness free, clean energy and reduce our reliance on dirty fossil fuels,” said Chief Climate Officer Rohit T. Aggarwala. “In conjunction with PlaNYC’s development of a public solar financing program for one-to-four family, low-income homeowners in environmental justice communities, today’s announcement demonstrates that New York City is moving aggressively to reduce our carbon footprint.” 

“Solar panels and battery storage are key components of our sustainability work to advance climate justice,” said Executive Director, Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice, Kizzy Charles-Guzman. “These new systems will reduce the energy cost burden that low- and medium-income New Yorkers face, reduce citywide carbon emissions, and protect our residents against the dangers of extreme heat - saving lives.” 

To facilitate the three MW of solar that will soon be underway at 93 buildings across nine developments, NYCHA has signed leases with partners: SunLight and a team being co-led by two groups — Sol Purpose Development Company, a New York-based public benefit development company specializing in renewable energy development, and Accord Power Inc., a New York-based Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) solar installer. 

For the SunLight project, Kinetic Communities Consulting — an energy strategy consulting firm owned and operated by a NYCHA resident — will manage community outreach and the enrollment of LMI electricity subscribers. Other partners include Reneu Energy, a solar energy consulting firm assisting with financial modeling and project development, as well as construction and subscription management firms.

For the Sol Purpose Development Company project, additional partners include Green City Force and Solar One, who will focus on hiring and training of NYCHA residents for these installations, and PowerMarket, who will manage the community solar subscriptions and outreach. 

The developments chosen to host these systems were selected based on their newer and more recently replaced roofs; they include King Towers and Taft Houses in Manhattan; Parkside Houses in the Bronx; Latimer Gardens in Queens; Howard Houses and Pink Houses in Brooklyn; and Richmond Terrace, New Lane Area, and Mariner’s Harbor on Staten Island. These installations join rooftops already supporting 6.7 MW at developments such as Glenwood, Kingsborough, Bushwick II, 572 Warren Street, Armstrong I and II, Berry Street-South 9th Street, and Linden Boulevard in Brooklyn; Carver in Manhattan; and Ocean Bay Apartments and Queensbridge I and II in Queens. 

Additionally, a cohort of NYCHA residents will be trained in solar and hired to install the systems, with nine residents expected to participate over the course of the next year across the projects. 

The electricity generated from these systems will provide a discounted electricity rate for approximately 725 New York City households. A majority of this power will be reserved for LMI New Yorkers, including NYCHA residents who pay their own electric bills and Section 8 voucher holders across the city.

NYCHA’s first solicitation for community shared solar was released in 2017 and awarded in 2018. In the latest solicitation, ACCESSolar invites solar developers and community-based organizations to form teams and submit proposals for rooftop community solar on 309 buildings across 21 NYCHA developments citywide. Proposers will be expected to provide lease revenue to NYCHA and commit to robust resident hiring and LMI subscription goals.

These efforts complement NYCHA’s Clean Energy Academy, a $2 million program that will prepare 100 public housing residents for clean energy careers and jobs at NYCHA developments over the course of two years. Teams proposing solar development under the new ACCESSolar solicitation will be required to consider Clean Energy Academy trainees for employment opportunities 

“Between the new signed leases and soliciting this next round, we are making steady progress toward NYCHA’s and NYC’s goals for producing solar power, while providing training and employment opportunities for our residents, lower energy costs to many LMI families, and modest revenue to buildings hosting the panels,” said NYCHA Senior Vice President for Sustainability Vlada Kenniff. “And we are pushing toward additional resiliency with battery storage, especially in buildings where we have our most vulnerable residents.” 

On a parallel track, NYCHA, in coordination with the New York Power Authority(NYPA) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), will also install solar and battery storage at Borinquen Plaza I (buildings three and four) as well as the adjacent community center. This additional power supply system will provide a critical layer of backup in case of power outages and can transform the Brooklyn development’s community center into a neighborhood hub and cooling center during instances of extreme heat.

“NYCHA’s ambitious solar strategy is setting a national example for utilizing public housing to help achieve clean energy goals,” said New York Power Authority Acting President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll. “By collaborating with NYCHA to include a battery storage component in Brooklyn, we will demonstrate how to increase the value of such renewable resources. Being able to hold power until it’s needed most makes the electric supply more dependable and lowers overall costs. We are also pleased to see this center serve as a reliable hub for residents during extreme heat or other outages.” 

The battery storage system is an important piece of NYCHA’s Sustainability Agenda, as the power generated by the grid and solar panels will be stored in batteries on site and used as needed to power critical load components in cases of outages, such as elevators, hallway lights, refrigeration units, and community center lights and air-cooling units. 

NYCHA launched its updated Sustainability Agenda in 2021, when it announced an ambitious recommitment to addressing climate change. Informed by 10 months of engagement with NYCHA residents, City agencies, community-based organizations, and technical experts, the Authority’s agenda focuses on taking a holistic approach to building renovations and community needs. 

About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)  

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the largest public housing authority in North America, was created in 1935 to provide decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers. NYCHA is home to roughly 1 in 16 New Yorkers across over 177,000 apartments within 335 housing developments. NYCHA serves over 339,000 residents through the conventional public housing program (Section 9), over 29,000 residents at developments that have been converted to PACT/RAD, and over 92,000 families through federal rent subsidies (the Section 8 Leased Housing Program). In addition, NYCHA connects residents to opportunities in financial empowerment, business development, career advancement, and educational programs. With a housing stock that spans all five boroughs, NYCHA is a city within a city.