New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021

HABITAT

ARCHIVE ARTICLE

Harnessing the Sun

There’s a new tool that allows New Yorkers to overcome obstacles to harvesting the sun’s energy, such as upfront costs, fire regulations, inadequate roof space – even tall neighboring buildings that block sunlight.

It’s called “community shared solar.” Daroga Power, working in conjunction with the nonprofit Solar One, has installed its first array of 3,000 solar panels on two flat warehouse roofs in Brooklyn’s East New York neighborhood. The program offers renewable 12-month subscriptions for solar energy credits to residential or small commercial Con Edison customers throughout the five boroughs, including renters and residents of co-ops and condos. For every dollar saved, the utility customer pays Daroga Power 90 cents – a 10 percent discount.

Daroga Power, a solar development and financing company that owns the East New York solar array, is expanding the program. “We have eight more megawatts of community solar we’re financing right now, scattered around the outer boroughs,” says David Matt, a principal at Daroga. “They should be online later this year.” The power generated by community solar projects, he adds, goes back into the grid; the savings go into the pockets of subscribers.

What this all means is that you no longer have to install solar panels to tap into the sun’s energy. And that good news gets even better: the program is available to all New Yorkers – rich or poor, owner or renter, sunny or shady, from Riverdale to the Rockaways.To sign up, go to http://bit.ly/CmtySolar.

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Glossary

[change agent]

(noun) A person who initiates social or political change within a group or institution, such as a co-op or condo board member who brings fresh energy and perspective to a bogged-down building (see p. 24).

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