StuyTown Property Services (SPS), the manager of Manhattan’s largest private multifamily residential property, will install a 3.8 megawatt (MW) solar energy system across the 22 acres of rooftops of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. The 80-acre complex with 110 unique building addresses on the east side of Manhattan is home to more than 27,000 New Yorkers and represents 1.7% of the population of Manhattan. The project is underway with the first two phases of work complete.
StuyTown’s 9,671 panel array will be the largest private multi-family rooftop solar array in the United States. This will approximately double Manhattan’s current solar generating capacity. Once complete in 2019, the installation will generate 6% of the total energy consumed by StuyTown’s 110 residential addresses, or enough energy to power 1,035 typical New York apartments each year. This is equivalent to removing 11,972 cars from the road and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 62,472 tons. A series of environmental sustainability initiatives have already reduced StuyTown’s on-site greenhouse gas emissions by 10% since 2007.
The solar installation is a redoubling of StuyTown’s commitment to the NYC Carbon Challenge, which supports New York City’s goal to reduce carbon emissions 80% by the year 2050. StuyTown is a leader in multi-family sustainability and is now expanding its program into renewable energy with this major solar initiative. A series of technologically sophisticated building management tools installed over the past 10 years earned ENERGY STAR® certification three years in a row, the first multi-family building in NYC to receive this distinction.
How large is the project?
The solar energy system will be installed on all 56 structures at Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. This equates to about 22 acres of rooftop. The system's capacity (i.e. peak instantaneous output in ideal conditions) is 3,868 kilowatts (kW) and the estimated annual energy generation is 4,347,000 kilowatt hours (kWh).
Will the solar panels be visible?
The solar panels will be mounted to the rooftops with a 5-degree tilt. The primary installation will not be visible from the ground. There may be supplemental installations that will provide power and serve as education points for the community.
Will there be a Major Capital Improvement (MCI) charge added to rents as a result of this project?
No. This project will not be filed as a major capital improvement. There will be no cost to residents.
Are the panels on every building?
Will the solar energy system be bolted into the roof? Will this affect the top floor apartments?
The components of the energy system will be bolted to the rooftop. This will not compromise the integrity of the roof or affect the building apartments. Communication regarding a specific installation timeline will be provided.
Do the panels pose any health risks?
The natural energy collected by this system is fed directly back into the Consolidated Edison of New York (conED) power grid. There are no health risks that come with the installation of this energy system.
Do the panels make noise?
The panels do not make noise. They are fixed to the rooftops and do not move.
What happens at night? Does lack of sunlight affect power?
The panels only collect energy during the day. There is no effect on power for residents.
What will they be powering?
The solar energy will be used to offset the buildings’ electricity consumption.
Who is responsible for maintaining the panels? SPS or conEd?
SPS is responsible for the maintenance and cleaning of the energy system.
Is there any possibility of danger during snow storms and thunder storms?
No. There is no increased risk during these events.
Will the A/C electrical surcharge still apply?
Can I go up and see the panels in action?
There will be an educational component to this project, partnering with NYC’s Non-Profit Solar 1, but the details have not been determined. Those plans will be shared with residents.
Is solar a permanent addition to the property?
The solar array has a 30-year lifespan.
How exactly does solar work?
A good explanation of photovoltaic panels can be found here.
What about birds flying on the rooftops?
The panels will be installed flat on the rooftops. We anticipate no impact to wildlife.
How does this affect the "cool roof" project?
In advance of the energy system installation, SPS worked to have all roofs coated. Each roof will be completed prior to installation. Additionally, solar modules will help to cool roof surfaces. Learn more about cool roofs here.
Is ownership looking at other renewable sources?
Additional carbon footprint reduction options are constantly evaluated by StuyTown Property Services.
How many jobs will this create?
It is expected that this will add 40 full time jobs over the course of the project.