Bloomberg Wants Solar Panels, Green Loans, for NYC

Michael Bloomberg, with Al Gore, painting a rooftop in Queens, in 2009. (Photo courtesy of Azi Paybarah / NY Observer)

By Azi Paybarah
New York Observer

In an ambitious push to reduce New York City’s carbon footprint, Mayor Bloomberg will announce tomorrow plans to build solar panels on city landfills, and the creation of a city-run non-profit to help building owners fund their own green upgrades, according to city officials.

More details on Bloomberg’s plans will be announced tomorrow morning in Harlem, where the mayor will deliver a major speech about the environment. Aides are billing the speech as a major update to the mayor’s sweeping environmental agenda, first outlined in 2007.

The proposals tomorrow are, in a way, Bloomberg’s effort to generate some new momentum in a key part of his agenda.

Bloomberg aides say the solar panels could accommodate about 50 megawatts of solar power. (To put that in perspective, when Governor Paterson announced a plan for New York to acquire 50MW of green energy, a news article noted that “as of the end of 2007, only three electric utilities in the US had 30 or more megawatts of solar electricity on their grid.”)

Aides say the solar panels will generate energy during the summer, when electricity demands reach their peak.

And the city wants to help lower the cost for building owners to retrofit their buildings.

Bloomberg will announce he’s creating a non-profit corporation that will make loans available to building owners who want to make energy-efficient upgrades to their property. Aides say the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation will partner with private lenders, as well as tap into about $40 million in federal stimulus funds.

Read more from the New York Observer.

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