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The Grinnell’s Green Committee Wins Award for Solar Project

Washington Heights, Manhattan

Grinnell Award

Award-winning green committee members Bruce Kanze (left) and Alan Gardner (right) on the roof of the Grinnell with Bright Power's Husna Anwar (photo by Jennifer Wu).

Nov. 5, 2019

In the June issue of Habitat, we told the story of the dedicated, dogged board at the Grinnell, an 82-unit HDFC co-op in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Upper Manhattan. Working with the Bright Power energy consultancy and guided by its green committee, this board overcame numerous obstacles on the way to installing solar panels on the roof that now generate about 40 percent of the building’s electricity needs. 

“We were really lucky,” said Josh Soble, senior account manager at Bright Power. “The green committee acted as the communicator and educator, not only with the board but also with the shareholders.” 

Alan Gardner and Bruce Kanze, co-chairs of the Grinnell’s green committee, have now been recognized outside the co-op. The New York Energy Consumers Council (NYECC), the largest energy customer advocacy organization in New York State, has given Gardner and Kanze one of its its 2019 Energy New York Awards (ENYA). The ENYA honors organizations and individuals who demonstrate exceptional leadership and innovation in smart energy use and conservation, and whose work has an impact beyond their individual buildings or sites. 

The council cited Gardner and Kanze for “overcoming numerous challenges and successfully overseeing the first community solar installation at a landmarked New York City co-op building, offsetting 40 percent of the property’s electricity, and attaining credits for shareholders and tax incentives for the building.” 

Also cited by the NYECC were the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Sidewalk Labs, Omni New York, JPMorgan Chase and swytchX, Normandy Real Estate, Cornell Tech, and Goldman Sachs. 

Diana Sweeney, executive director of NYECC, noted, “Our honorees are leaders who have made a significant, positive impact on energy and the environment in New York City.” The NYECC represents the interests of major energy users in New York City and Westchester County.

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