By Sabina Mollot
On Wednesday, Stuyvesant Town’s owners, Blackstone and Ivanhoé Cambridge, announced plans to install solar panels on all of the roofs in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. Additionally, they said, it will be the largest private, multi-family residential solar project in the country.
The 3.8 Megawatt (DC) solar energy system will span across the property’s 22 acres of rooftops.
According to the owners, once the project is completed, StuyTown will have tripled Manhattan’s capacity to generate solar power. Renewable energy developer Onyx Renewable Partners is the project developer for the installation, which is expected to begin this winter and be completed in 2019.
The installation will consist of 9,671 high efficiency solar panels and will generate enough energy to power over 1,000 New York City apartments annually. The project is expected to offset approximately 63,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is comparable to removing 12,000 cars from the road for a year.
“We are incredibly proud of the long-term partnership we are building with the StuyTown community,” said Nadeem Meghji, head of Real Estate Americas at Blackstone. “In 2015 we made a commitment to preserve StuyTown’s unique heritage and be responsible stewards of its future. This innovative solar project is one of many initiatives we designed and implemented to make the community more sustainable and environmentally friendly.”
A spokesperson for Blackstone added that there will be no major capital improvement rent increase for the project, and that early on in the new ownership, environmentally friendly projects were actually suggested by residents in response to surveys issued by management. According to the Wall Street Journal, the project will cost $10 million.
This project is also part of Blackstone’s commitment to participate in the mayor’s initiative to lower greenhouse gas emissions at Stuy Town. Other projects have included painting the roofs white, to keep the buildings cooler during the summer, installing elevator shaft louvers to minimize heat loss and domestic water flow control valves, incorporating the use of a centralized building management system to control steam heating distribution and a composting program. (The compost waste pickup, which on average has been over 10,000 pounds of organic material collected weekly, represents 17 percent of all residential compost waste collected in Manhattan.)
In a press release announcing the solar project, Stuy Town’s owners also noted that StuyTown on-site greenhouse gas emissions have already been reduced by 10 percent since 2007. At this time, the complex houses more than 27,000 residents and represents 1.7 percent of Manhattan’s population.
“Working to make communities more sustainable underpins many of our business decisions,” said Daniel Fournier, chairman and CEO, Ivanhoé Cambridge. “We are especially proud of this initiative and congratulate our partners Blackstone and the team at SPS (StuyTown Property Services). Stuyvesant Town Peter Cooper Village is a very special place and continues to be a leader in New York City.”
More information about the project can be found online at stuytown.com/solar.