NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Power to the people?

Con Edison is proposing placing solar panels on the roofs of New York City Housing Authority developments as part of a three year demonstration project.

Some 350 NYCHA households would get access to solar power for a discounted price as part of the project, dubbed “Community Power.” The project is being undertaken in partnership with Solar One, a non-profit organization. Con Ed estimates those participating could save around $78 a year on their energy bills. In addition, some 30 NYCHA residents will be trained and hired to install the panels.

“The NYCHA tenants who participate will get the benefits of renewable energy without the upfront costs that can make solar energy challenging to afford,” said Margarett Jolly, director of Demonstration Projects for Con Edison. “We want all our customers to have access to solar energy, energy efficiency and other products and services that technology is making possible.”

“We are pleased to partner with Con Edison to implement ‘Community Power,’ which will demonstrate how low-income New Yorkers can play a central role in our transition to renewable power,” said Noah Ginsburg of Solar One.

“This partnership helps ensure that NYCHA residents can both participate in the green jobs economy and have access to low-cost solar power,” said NYCHA Executive Vice President for Community Engagement and Partnerships Sideya Sherman.

As part of the program, customers in NYCHA buildings who participate will get a share of solar energy produced in their community and see a discount of up to 15 percent on their normal energy cost, Con Edison said. Those customers will have to pay a subscription fee.

Con Ed says the project will prevent the emission of more than 1.7 million pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

It’s the second project by Con Ed that aims to make solar energy available to low-income customers.


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