Competitive pilot grant program providing financial assistance to City-based building owners installing solar hot water systems.
New York City is the most favorable market for solar thermal technologies in the state. With high energy costs and an abundance of sunlight, NYC is ideal for cost-competitive, renewable energy solutions. By using sunlight to heat water, solar thermal systems displace carbon-emitting, fossil fuels that are traditionally used to produce domestic hot water. For an average NYC family, solar thermal systems have the potential to provide up to 75% of the hot water needs.
Developing the solar thermal market has the potential to drive economic growth in New York City’s clean technology and energy sector while contributing to the City’s comprehensive energy efforts. Solar thermal technologies are mature and provide high energy production with relatively low capital costs. However, despite a strong opportunity, solar thermal has seen slow growth in NYC. The Solar Thermal Pilot Program provides a framework to identify and analyze market constraints and to develop best practices that will foster a robust and sustainable marketplace in New York City.
NYCEDC launched the Solar Thermal Pilot Program in 2009, offering grants of 30% of installation costs, up to $50,000 per solar thermal system, to NYC-based building owners. The Solar Thermal Pilot Program has three primary objectives:
Through a competitive application process, NYCEDC selected several projects across a diverse spectrum of building types and locations. All systems installed under the program are equipped with performance monitoring equipment. Four systems have been completed to date under the pilot, and new applications are not currently being accepted. At the completion of the program, NYCEDC will evaluate performance and identify key next steps to facilitate solar thermal market growth in NYC.
Location: Foxhurst, Bronx
Daily hot water consumption: 4,000 gallons
System: Commissioned in November 2010
20 flat plate collectors, occupying 800 square feet of the building’s rooftop
Estimated annual production: 2,072 therms; providing 20% of the building’s hot water
Estimated annual savings: $3,885
Displace 24,242 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually
Location: Hamilton Heights, Manhattan
Daily hot water consumption: 300 gallons
System: Commissioned in December 2010
8 flat plate collectors
Estimated annual production: 440 therms; providing 100% of the building’s hot water
Estimated annual savings: $660
Displace 4,968 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually
Location: Jamaica Hills, Queens
Daily hot water consumption: 3,000 gallons
System: Commissioned in July 2011
44 evacuated tube collectors, occupying 1,800 square feet of the building’s rooftop
Estimated annual production: 3,724 therms; providing 75% of the building’s hot water
Estimated annual savings: $15,138
Location: Emerson Hill, Staten Island
Daily hot water consumption: 2,000 gallons
System: Commissioned in October 2011
24 flat plate collectors, occupying 960 square feet of the building’s rooftop
Estimated annual production: 2,355 therms; providing 65% of the building’s hot water
Estimated annual savings: $3,830
Displace 27,500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually