Here's a ray of good news for co-op and condo boards and other building owners who are struggling to reduce their buildings' carbon emissions before Local Law 97 takes effect next year: solar energy, a prime carbon-cutting tool, has reached record levels in metro New York City.
As costs come down and incentives remain attractive, Con Edison customers installed a record number of solar arrays on the rooftops of their businesses and homes last year — more than 9,600 solar projects throughout Westchester County and the five boroughs of New York City. These projects have the capacity to produce 89 megawatts of clean electricity — the equivalent of taking nearly 18,000 cars off the road in terms of greenhouse gas emissions avoided.
Con Edison customers in New York City and Westchester County have now completed 52,600 projects that have the capacity to produce more than 487 megawatts, or 487 million watts, according to Con Edison.
Queens customers led the region in solar installations with more than 3,500 projects completed. Brooklyn was not far behind with just over 2,000 solar projects completed. Westchester County led the region in the amount of capacity installed, enough to generate nearly 30 megawatts of clean energy.
Con Edison and its customers also made strides toward a cleaner future using other clean energy technologies in 2022. Building owners installed more than 11,500 air-source heat pumps and 130 geothermal systems with the help of Con Edison’s Clean Heat program. These technologies regulate temperature without burning natural gas, oil or other fossil fuels.
Another technology that's beginning to catch on is carbon capture, which converts carbon emitted from boilers or cogen systems into a liquid. The liquid carbon dioxide is then sold to the makers of construction materials, jet fuels, plastics and other products. Beginning in 2024, building owners will be fined $268 for every metric ton of carbon they emit above their caps prescribed by Local Law 97. Capturing and selling the carbon yields about $300 per metric ton, in effect turning a damaging liability into a useful revenue stream.
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