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NYCEDC Announces First Round Allocations for Solar Thermal Grant Pilot Program


New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced five businesses and institutions will receive grants to install solar thermal systems in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens. Solar thermal is an established clean energy technology that collects sunlight to produce thermal energy, or heat. The grants, totaling nearly $200,000, will help enable the installation of $1.6 million worth of proposed solar thermal projects, including what would be the largest solar thermal installation in the City at New York Hospital Queens in Flushing. The other installations will take place at the Juilliard School at Lincoln Center; Community of the Holy Spirit in Harlem; Tri-State Biodiesel in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx; and a 30-unit mixed-use building in the Foxhurst section of the Bronx. NYCEDC will also today release an application for a second round of funding to provide grants that will lead to implementation of solar thermal projects for 10 or more businesses and institutions.

“Today’s first round implementation grants under our solar thermal pilot program demonstrates our commitment to building a green economy while simultaneously ensuring the sustainability of our City,” said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky. “With this allocation, not only are we immediately helping to expand the City’s solar thermal marketplace, but we are also gaining invaluable insight and data that will help us develop our long-term strategy for expanding the use of this clean energy technology with great potential.”

The Solar Thermal Grant Pilot Program was announced in October 2009 as part of the Bloomberg Administration’s suite of initiatives dedicated to strengthening the City’s economy and supporting and attracting green businesses in the City. While a study funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority identified New York City as the “most favorable” location in New York State for solar hot water systems, there remains a lack of awareness, financing incentives, and regulatory clarity in regard to solar thermal technology. The $1 million pilot program was designed to leverage federal funding (30% tax credit) and private capital (30% cost share) to provide a substantial boost to the number of solar hot water projects in New York City. All projects will be equipped with monitoring equipment to provide hard data, which will help other private and public stakeholders make informed investment decisions about solar thermal system installations. Installations will begin as early as March, with most of the projects expected to be operational by May. The largest of the projects is a proposed $1.1 million system that would be installed at New York Hospital Queens, which would save the hospital 27,300 therms of gas annually and result in the reduction of nearly 34,500 tons of carbon dioxide over the life of the project. Once completed, this would be the largest solar thermal installation in New York City. “Last year, Mayor Bloomberg announced a challenge to hospitals citywide to reduce greenhouse gas emission by 30 percent over the next ten years. We accepted this challenge,” said Stephen S. Mills, President and Chief Executive Officer, New York Hospital Queens. “This grant funding from NYCEDC will help us to begin to reduce our carbon footprint. We look forward to initiating a project that will convert solar power as a thermal source for heat and hot water for our facility.”

UPDATE: Applications closed. Applicants interested in applying for the second round of grant allocations should visit nycedc.com/solarthermal for more information. The 30 total initiatives comprising the Green Economy Plan will support the creation of 13,000 new jobs, doubling the City’s green sector workforce. The Plan was a culmination of more than two years of analysis and hundreds of interviews with experts from across the industry to develop initiatives that best foster a supportive environment for the green sector. The Plan focuses on four target areas that will account for 70 percent of green sector jobs in the City over the next decade: green buildings, onsite renewable energy, carbon trading and finance, and greener neighborhoods.

About NYCEDC

New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

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David Lombino/Vivian Liao (212) 312-3523

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