I suggest that the Mayor re-read my report, “Rooftop Revolution,” which offered constructive ideas for expanding the City’s solar capacity. The increase in New York City’s solar capacity over the last six years is welcome news. But to put the Mayor’s announcement in perspective, in the last two years, New Jersey installed over 440 megawatts of solar energy. Today, the City is announcing that we have increased our capacity to 8 megawatts.
My office has been dedicated to the expansion of solar energy for years, and I long ago put my money where my mouth is. We have pledged $3 million in capital funds for a pilot program to install solar panels on public school roofs in FY13. Additionally, I allocated $3 million in FY08 for a solar array atop BMCC, one of the largest in the City.
I commend everyone who has worked hard to make these increases a reality, especially the City’s partners at Sustainable CUNY. However, the fact is that New York still has a long way to go in order to get up to speed with our neighbors.
As “Rooftop Revolution” noted, if the City developed a long term plan for installing solar panels on public school rooftops, we could install over 167 megawatts of solar on these large, publicly owned roof spaces. I look forward to working with the Mayor and with other concerned environmentalists to put the incentives in place that can help multiply New York’s newly announced 800 percent gain by another 2,000 percent in the coming years.