Scott Stringer: Let's Put Solar Panels on School Roofs

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Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who is likely to run for mayor, released a report yesterday that called for the installation of solar panels on the roofs of city public schools.

Releasing reports -- it's the thing to do if you want to be mayor, apparently!

This one here is one of those win-win things -- thousands of new jobs AND clean energy.

To be specific here, the borough president's report says the solar panels could provide 5,423 green collar jobs and remove 76,696 tons of carbon from the air each year. (That's the same as planting more than 400,000 trees).

Stringer presented this as a no-brainer and one that is important if New York City wants to stay ahead.

(The mayor -- who sometimes clashes with Stringer -- could agree on this one, given his love of innovation).

"Solar energy installations and public schools are a perfect match," Stringer said in a press release sent out yesterday. "This is an idea whose time has come -- a cost-effective, sensible program that will create jobs, lower energy bills, and save tax dollars for decades to come."

Similar programs have been successfully launched in Denver and Portland, Ore. And New Jersey! And Germany and China, too.

"New York City should be a global leader, not a follower, in expanding our region's solar economy," he said.

His report draws on the City University of New York's NYC Solar Map -- showing how these installations could host 169.46 megawatts of clean, renewable electricity. This could be economically feasible through so-called Power Purchase Agreements, he said, where private vendors use renewable energy credits to set up and maintain solar panels in exchange for a portion of future savings.

He urged the state legislature to pass the Solar Jobs Act, currently pending, which would encourage power purchase agreements and, he argues, generate tens of thousands of jobs and generate billions in new revenue.

Schools are just the start, he said.

"If every rooftop in the city were properly fitted with solar energy installations, estimates from CUNY suggest we could generate half of New York's peak energy supply."

[SamTLevin / @SamTLevin]

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