Fordham University Offsets 20% of its Electricity Use With NY’s Largest Solar Array

by | Jul 19, 2018


The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) this week announced the completion of the largest solar system installed in New York City in Staten Island.

The 3.1-megawatt solar array will offset a large portion of the electricity used by Fordham University and Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx, supporting Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s nation-leading clean energy goal mandating 50% of electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.

“This solar installation project on Staten Island, the largest in New York City, will provide clean energy and help protect the environment,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “The system further supports the state’s aggressive goal of 50% of electricity coming from renewable energy sources by 2030. While the federal government turns its back on protecting the environment, we’re continuing to work to combat climate change in New York.”

The solar array is comprised of more than 9,000 solar panels and will generate nearly 4 million kilowatt hours of clean solar energy each year, enough to offset 20% of Fordham University’s electricity use and 37% of Fordham Preparatory School’s use. The ground-mounted system was installed on 10 acres of unused industrial property in Staten Island.

The solar project uses an arrangement known as remote net metering. Under this arrangement, solar that is installed at one site can offset electric bills for customers at different locations. With the continued cost declines associated with solar energy, New York officials have remained committed to ensuring that the policies and regulations that compensate solar production do so in a way that benefits all electric customers while also benefiting the electric grid and delivering the biggest bang for the buck when it comes to reducing carbon emissions.

Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion NY-Sun initiative provided funding for the project. NY-Sun is designed to scale-up solar across the state and move the state closer to a robust and sustainable market for solar energy. Since 2011, solar in New York State has increased more than 1,000% and leveraged more than $2.8 billion in private investments. There are more than 12,000 people engaged in solar jobs across New York.

The system was designed, developed and installed by New York City-based EnterSolar. Key Equipment Finance, an affiliate of KeyCorp and one of the largest bank-based equipment finance providers in the country, provided financing for the project, which was also supported by Consolidated Edison, Inc.

In May, NYSERDAmade $10 million available for clean energy projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions at commercial and industrial buildings throughout New York.

Commercial and industrial buildings account for 33% of the energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in the state, NYSERDA says. The latest round of funding is part of a pilot project called the Commercial and Industrial Carbon Challenge to find out whether flexible uses of funding for clean energy projects is more cost-effective and reduces more carbon emissions than traditional state-supported programs.

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