Con Edison is installing a solar array at its landmark office tower in Manhattan. The utility giant has installed more than 200 panels atop a 19th-story roof at 4 Irving Place.
The panels, manufactured in the United States by Suniva Inc., generate 40 kilowatts of renewable power. That’s enough electricity to light two floors at the Con Edison headquarters.
“Our customers are discovering that they can use the power of the sun to cut their electric bills and help ensure a safe, sustainable future for New Yorkers,” said John McAvoy, Con Edison’s president and CEO. “We wanted to share our customers’ experience by installing solar panels on our building. We’re reducing our own electric bills, and helping the environment too.”Con Edison customers in New York City and Westchester County have installed 2,000 solar projects, generating nearly 40 megawatts (MW) — or 40 million watts — of power for their homes or businesses.
That’s more than enough to power these famed New York buildings: The World Trade Center site (14 MW), the Empire State Building (9.5 MW), 30 Rockefeller Plaza, known as 30 Rock (4MW), Madison Square Garden (3 MW) and Yankee Stadium (2 MW).
The amount of solar production in the region has quadrupled in three years, as Con Edison and its partners have encouraged New Yorkers to consider the sun as a source of electricity for their homes and businesses.
Con Edison’s project was made possible by a U.S. Department of Energy Smart Grid Stimulus grant. The project will save Con Edison ratepayers about $7,000 a year in electricity costs.
The company has also connected the solar array to a remote monitoring system that is updated every 15 minutes and enables Con Edison operators to monitor the production of the panels in real time.
Working with Gehrlicher Solar America Corp., which handled the engineering and project management, and Progressive Solutions LLC., which advised on design and installation, Con Edison completed the installation in only five weeks.
A company website, http://www.coned.com/dg/solarenergy/, explains the economic and environmental benefits of solar energy, the installation process and net metering.