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New York’s housing authority champions on-site solar

The New York City Housing Authority has committed to introduce solar panels on its roofs beginning in 2017.

By 2025, the agency plans to bring in vendors to provide 25 MW on its open rooftops and possibly on canopies abNew Yorkove parking lots. Some 2.5 million square feet of photovoltaic panels would be deployed and the array would be designed to produce enough energy to power 6,600 apartments.

The commitment to go solar is part of the housing authority’s first so-called sustainability agenda, a 10-year plan. With 178,000 apartments and more than 400,000 low-income residents the authority is the city’s largest landlord

The sustainability plan, being released on Thursday includes hundreds of millions of dollars in spending to produce heat more efficiently and to reduce consumption of fossil fuel.

Much of the spending is to come from non-city sources: from portions of a $3 billion Federal Emergency Management Agency grant, as well as federally backed private investments known as energy-performance contracts.

Under another program supported by the FEMA grant, two steam-power plants are planned for Brooklyn’s Red Hook houses.

They have been designed to allow cogeneration for building residents across more than 2,800 apartments.

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