The folks at Eldorado Coffee Roasters claim to be “the only green coffee roaster in New York City,” and they’re not talking about the beans. The company recently installed a rooftop solar photovoltaic system at its headquarters in Maspeth, Queens, rated to produce at least 280,000 kilowatt-hours of clean energy annually—enough to knock out the entire electricity bill.
The project was engineered, constructed and financed by Solar Energy Systems (SES), a company headquartered in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, that has done some swift business in recent years servicing the emerging market for commercial solar in both New York and New Jersey. SES will operate and maintain Eldorado’s solar power system, selling the solar power to the roastery at a discounted rate through a power purchase agreement.
The project was paid for, in part, by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, that federal legislation passed in the wake of the 2008 economic collapse that has proven to be a gift that keeps on giving when it comes to renewable energy projects. That assistance, in combination with federal, state and local tax incentives, helped to put Eldorado’s considerable rooftop real estate to work in producing renewable energy in the heart of the city.
Of the project,Francis J. Murray Jr, President and CEO of NYSERDA, said, in a statement: “By investing in solar energy, the state is not only able to drive down the cost of doing business for Eldorado Coffee Roasters, but also helping to improve power reliability in New York City by reducing demand on the electric grid.” He went on to note that public–private partnerships such as this represent a critical component to New York meeting its renewable energy goals.