First New York City Cooperative Installs Solar Panels

In December, an affordable 60-unit cooperative known as128 West 138th Street (the Co-op) became the first in the city to install solar panels under a program designed to bring renewable energy to buildings in upper Manhattan neighborhoods.

As a part of the Solar Uptown Now (SUN) campaign led by WE ACT for Environmental Justice (WE ACT), nine Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC) cooperatives will be completing solar electric installations on their rooftops, saving a total of $59,000 in the first year. The solar installations will save a total of 4,117 tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the lifetime of the systems.

WE ACT brought in the nonprofit Solar One, which conducted a feasibility study, provided cost and savings estimates and studied tax breaks and incentives. Working in collaboration with WE ACT, Solar One produced a request for proposals that required the contractor to use some of the workers from WE ACT’s neighborhood jobs-training program.

Since the 128 West 138th Street’s board was in the middle of a major parapet replacement and brick-pointing project and the roof was nearing the end of its useful life, it decided to have the contractor resurface the roof before the installation. The roof resurfacing cost $75,000, and the board authorized the expenditure of $38,000 of the Co-op’s funds to install the solar panels together with a $22,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Various tax abatements and incentives will bring the board’s Co-op’s cost down even further – resulting in a recovery of its investment in less than six years.

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First New York City Cooperative Installs Solar Panels

In December, an affordable 60-unit cooperative known as128 West 138th Street (the Co-op) became the first in the city to install solar panels under a program designed to bring renewable energy to buildings in upper Manhattan neighborhoods.

As a part of the Solar Uptown Now (SUN) campaign led by WE ACT for Environmental Justice (WE ACT), nine Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC) cooperatives will be completing solar electric installations on their rooftops, saving a total of $59,000 in the first year. The solar installations will save a total of 4,117 tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the lifetime of the systems.

WE ACT brought in the nonprofit Solar One, which conducted a feasibility study, provided cost and savings estimates and studied tax breaks and incentives. Working in collaboration with WE ACT, Solar One produced a request for proposals that required the contractor to use some of the workers from WE ACT’s neighborhood jobs-training program.

Since the 128 West 138th Street’s board was in the middle of a major parapet replacement and brick-pointing project and the roof was nearing the end of its useful life, it decided to have the contractor resurface the roof before the installation. The roof resurfacing cost $75,000, and the board authorized the expenditure of $38,000 of the Co-op’s funds to install the solar panels together with a $22,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Various tax abatements and incentives will bring the board’s Co-op’s cost down even further – resulting in a recovery of its investment in less than six years.

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