New York City mayor Bill de Blasio broke ground on Friday on the city’s first off-grid affordable housing project, which is to feature three on-site cogeneration plants.  

The 2400-unit, $1.5bn development (pictured, artist’s rendition) at Hallets Point in Astoria, Queens is also planned to feature its own microgrid and a wastewater recycling system.

The gas-fired cogeneration plants, with a combined capacity of 6.8 MWe, will provide power, heating, cooling and hot water for the development, which is planned to include include retail spaces, a school, a supermarket and a waterfront park.  

Developer the Durst Organization said the estimated $23m capital investment in the plants is expected to be recovered within the first nine years of operation.