Rockefeller Center Launches Major Green Initiatives

by | Nov 21, 2007

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Rockefeller Center is getting a green makeover this holiday season that includes solar panels, LED Christmas tree lights, a green roof, and an ice storage refrigeration plant.

Tishman Speyer has installed 363 General Electric solar panels on the roof of 45 Rockefeller Plaza. The panels, designed by AltPower, will create a 70 kilowatt DC generation station that is tied to the Rockefeller Center grid. The solar-powered energy will help reduce peak electrical demand. The solar roof will keep 67,392 lbs of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere each year, according to Tishman.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree will sport 30,000 LEDs, on five miles of wire, that will reduce energy consumption from 3,510 kilowatt hours to 1,297 kilowatt hours per day. Upon completion of the holiday season, the tree will be milled and treated and made into lumber to be used by Habitat for Humanity.

“When we developed PlaNYC, we hoped that public leadership would inspire private- sector creativity and investment in a greener, greater New York, and I want to commend Jerry and Rob Speyer for stepping up and meeting that challenge,” said Mayor Bloomberg.

Tishman Speyer is also installing a “green roof” atop Radio City Music Hall. The 18,000 square foot roof will be converted using desert plantings that require little water in summer and go dormant in winter. The roof will, in one year, save approximately 566,000 gallons of water from the combined wastewater/stormwater system in New York City.

A new ice making and storage plant consisting of 47 water tanks, each 11 feet tall, is being installed at Rockefeller Center, beginning this month, to help cool the complex and reduce energy consumption. Under this system, ice will be created overnight when energy demand in the city is lower. During business hours, water used in air conditioning for the office spaces will be redirected through the ice and cooled to provide comfort cooling for the tenants.

“The green initiatives we are putting in place make Rockefeller Center a leader for environmental innovation,” said Jerry I. Speyer. “We have here the largest private solar roof in Manhattan, which will help conserve energy, eliminate carbon dioxide, and power the 30,000 LED lights on our iconic Christmas tree.”

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