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New York City's dense urban environment, robust public transit system and extensive parks network already make it one of the most sustainable cities in the US and the world.
Combined with the nation’s largest metropolitan market, progressive local policy leadership, world class institutions and a growing leadership in 21st century technology innovations, New York City is an ideal location for green and clean technology companies to locate, do business and grow.
In 2011, NYCEDC began work on Green NYC 2025, an ongoing initiative to identify opportunities in the rapidly emerging green sector, as well as the challenges the City faces for future growth. By taking advantage of New York City's depth of assets, coupled with the City's public policy leadership in sustainability and the growing entrepreneurship in the tech sector, NYCEDC is developing a strategy to facilitate the growth of green and cleantech companies.
NYCEDC fosters diversification of the New York City economy by supporting entrepreneurship and innovation in the clean technology and energy industry.
In January 2013, NYCEDC announced plans to launch a Clean Technology Entrepreneur Center to assist cleantech and energy entrepreneurs with the unique challenges they face in starting and growing early-stage companies in New York City. The Center will concentrate activities and services in order to further develop collaboration, innovation, commercialization and entrepreneurship in New York City. To address these goals, the Center will be devoted to three primary functions:
NYCEDC expects to launch the Center in the Summer of 2013. For more information, please view the NYC Clean Technology Entrepreneur Center Press Release.
As a member of the NYC Solar America City Partnership with Sustainable CUNY and the Mayor's Office, NYCEDC has helped solar energy in New York City grow by over 800% in the past five years, making solar a competitive renewable energy source. Through continued support from the US Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative, the City will implement innovative methods to remove the barriers to growth of the solar energy industry in New York City.
With funding from the US Department of Energy, NYC's Solar America City Partnership has established five Solar Empowerment Zones - areas where installing solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems would yield the greatest benefits. To encourage installation in these zones, special benefits and support are available to those who install solar PV. Additionally, the NYC Solar Map is a free, interactive tool available to help all New Yorkers understand the potential for solar energy anywhere in the city.
In late 2011, New York City was awarded up to $3.4 million through the US Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative, a national effort with the goal of making solar energy cost competitive with traditional energy sources by the end of the decade. With support and additional funding from NYCEDC, the NYC Solar America Cities Partnership has developed a plan to shorten the permit application time for solar installations. Through cooperation between Con Edison and multiple City and State agencies, the "100 Days of Solar" initiative will pilot innovative tracking software designed to streamline the permitting process, both speeding up solar adoption in NYC and reducing the "soft costs" of installation.
Through funding and hosting a variety of demonstration projects, NYCEDC is developing best practices for overcoming the unique barriers to clean technology deployment in New York City.
To demonstrate the viability of innovative energy management solutions to the private sector, NYCEDC has partnered with Con Edison to develop a Smart Grid installation at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park. The project will integrate three main components: (1) a 100 kilowatt solar PV system, (2) a building management system and (3) a battery for on-site energy storage. Funded in part by a grant from the US Department of Energy, the system will demonstrate the benefits of on-site renewable energy generation coupled with energy storage and management systems to reduce peak demand energy use.
In 2009, NYCEDC launched the Solar Thermal Grant Pilot Program to provide financial assistance to City-based building owners interested in installing solar thermal systems. The program’s goals are two-fold: to drive economic growth in New York City and to contribute to the City’s comprehensive clean energy efforts. To date, four systems have been installed under the Solar Thermal Grant Pilot Program. NYCEDC is studying the performance of these systems in order to better understand the financial, technical and regulatory barriers. The Solar Thermal Grant Pilot Program provides a framework to analyze these constraints and to develop best practices that will foster a sustainable and robust marketplace for solar thermal systems in New York City.
Visit the Solar Thermal Pilot Program page for more details.
In an effort to further diversify New York City's renewable energy portfolio, NYCEDC is conducting a demonstration of small-scale wind power technology designed for urban environments. NYCEDC's Urban Wind Demonstration provides qualified small wind turbine manufacturers with nominal funding and a location to install and demonstrate their technology. Following a competitive solicitation, NYCEDC selected a NYC-based company to install a roof-top mounted, vertical axis wind turbine at the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center. The system will be installed following the New York City Department of Buildings 2011 guidelines for the installation of small wind turbines on city buildings (available in PDF). The demonstration will monitor the safety and performance of a small wind turbine system in a dense urban setting.
NYCEDC offers information about a variety of New York City equity, financing and incentives programs designed to help businesses thrive.
In August 2012, the property tax abatement offered in New York City for the installation of solar PV systems was extended through 2014 at a level of 10% of total capital costs. The continuation of this key incentive will continue to promote growth of solar deployment in New York City.
This property tax abatement also applies to green roof installations. Under this program, eligible green roof installations will receive a one-time property tax abatement equal to $4.50 per square foot up to $100,000.
For more information on both programs, please visit the New York City Department of Buildings Tax Abatement website or email GreenRoofandSolar@buildings.nyc.gov.