Recently, we reported that New York City is seeking proposals for a giant solar farm destined for Fresh Kills, the massive capped landfill on Staten Island. We also brought you news of an online, interactive map, created via a partnership between the city and Columbia University, aimed at helping those who own buildings in the Big Apple to identify opportunities to save power. But not all of the city’s green ambitions are just ambitions, as the office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced the completion of solar power systems across the rooftops of 10 City-owned buildings across the five boroughs.
These 10 projects, according to the mayor’s office, bring the city’s total solar generating capacity to 648 kilowatts—enough to power 143 households—and will cut 205 metric tons of carbon emissions. And while this is by no means solar on a utility scale, it does show some political will behind the mayor’s NYC Green Infrastructure Plan and PlaNYC, and, along with the surge of solar power installations in the city in recent years, an increasing focus on solar in the region.
Bloomberg has also announced that the City’s first “green” hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest), entitled “Reinvent Green.” This event will launch this summer to spur the development of digital tools designed to empower New Yorkers to engage in sustainable practices. The announcement regarding the hackathon was made, appropriately enough, at the opening of the new offices of Efficiency 2.0, a New York City-founded tech start-up that—in a bold win for East Coast innovation—will be helping the customers of Southern California Edison reduce their power consumption and save money on utility bills.
“In clean tech, New York City is leading by example and the solar projects we’ve completed will generate clean, affordable energy while cutting our carbon emissions and energy costs – goals that are central to our Administration’s sustainability agenda, PlaNYC,” said Mayor Bloomberg, in a statement. He went on to note that his administration is also committed to tapping into the power of the private sector, and highlighted the success of startups like Efficiency 2.0 as making the Big Apple “the place to be for innovation.”