The City of Yonkers is launching an outreach initiative, in partnership with nonprofits Sustainable Westchester and Groundwork Hudson Valley, to bring the benefits of Community Solar to Yonkers residents. Five new Community Solar projects – the first of their kind in the city – are being constructed by solar developer, G&S Solar, on buildings owned by Robert Martin Company in the Executive Boulevard Area.
The initiative provides benefits for Yonkers residents as Community Solar offers savings of up to 10 percent off electricity bills while greening the local electricity supply. Promotion of the program by the City of Yonkers, in partnership with Sustainable Westchester, will prompt the development of more Yonkers-based solar facilities and will aid in the state’s ambitious climate goals to triple solar energy production by 2025.
Groundwork Hudson Valley is also part of this effort and is engaging its youth conservation employment program, the Green Team (comprised of Yonkers public high school students) to engage and educate residents about the benefits of renewable energy and to offer enrollment opportunities for financial savings. Sustainable Westchester has already enrolled the Municipal Housing Authority of the City of Yonkers (MHACY) in Community Solar.
“Renewable energy sources like solar continue to be on the rise in Yonkers and this Community Solar project leverages the city’s commitment to further greening our energy supply,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “Thank you to Sustainable Westchester and our partners Robert Martin Company and G&S Solar for supporting our efforts to build a more sustainable city while providing savings to Yonkers residents.”
“We are proud to bring Community Solar to Yonkers. Community Solar makes the benefits of solar available to everyone – not just to homeowners who can afford solar installations on their own homes,” said Nina Orville, Executive Director of Sustainable Westchester. “We are thrilled to collaborate with the City of Yonkers, the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers and Groundwork Hudson Valley to encourage Yonkers residents to take advantage of the opportunity to save money while supporting local renewable energy. We’re so pleased to partner with G&S Solar and the Robert Martin Company in this effort.”
“MHACY is committed to sustainability throughout our portfolio including our RAD renovated properties and our new construction like LaMora,’’ said Wilson Kimball, President and CEO of the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers. “We feel fortunate that we could join other thought leaders like Sustainable Westchester, Mayor Mike Spano, Groundwork Hudson Valley and Robert Martin in bringing affordable and sustainable energy options to our client-tenants.”
“This is a bold, win-win solution for the City of Yonkers. Not only will it bring renewable energy to the City, but residents will also see a modest cost savings on electricity bills,” said Brigitte Griswold, Executive Director of Groundwork Hudson Valley. “We are especially proud to employ Yonkers youth to lead our outreach and education efforts, who are already gaining valuable skills in the renewable energy field while earning a wage at a time when youth unemployment is at an all-time high.”
The solar installations will be sited on the building rooftops at Robert Martin Company’s 780,000 square-foot South Westchester Executive Park in Yonkers. The area includes 200 Corporate Boulevard South, 1 Executive Boulevard, and 6 Executive Plaza.
“We have developed hundreds of solar projects across the East Coast, but it is most gratifying that we are now rolling out a portfolio of projects in our backyard, Westchester County,” said G&S Solar President John Faltings.
“Westchester County is a geographically desirable location for this kind of power generation, and with our best-in-class portfolio of flex-industrial buildings, it’s fitting that we are on the leading edge of the Community Solar program,” said Robert Martin Company CEO, Tim Jones. “We foresee having over 10 megawatts of solar-based electricity generated at our buildings in the near term.”
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) awarded nearly $695,000 in incentives through its NY-Sun program for the five projects.
“Through partnerships like these, New York State is solidifying its role as a leader in community solar growth as we bring the environmental and economic benefits of clean, renewable energy to all parts of the State and progress toward our Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goals,” said Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. “I commend the City of Yonkers, Sustainable Westchester, and all involved, for their commitment to expanding access to solar energy to residents, as well as their inclusion of workforce development to train the next generation in the renewable energy field.”
Westchester residents, houses of worship, eligible organizations, and small businesses can save up to 10% on their electric bills each month by enrolling in Sustainable Westchester’s community solar program. Residents who already have solar on their property are not eligible for Community Solar. Con Edison customers throughout the county are eligible and can learn more at www.SustainableWestchester.org/Solar or by calling 914-242-4725 ext. 112.
On March 9, The City Council adopted legislation that allows Yonkers to join Sustainable Westchester’s renewable electricity supply program, Westchester Power. Westchester Power will allow residents to source renewable electricity supply at a competitive fixed rate and is complementary with community solar. When residents participate in both, they double their support for renewable energy while benefiting from the savings that Community Solar offers.