Solar Energy: New York City's Future As A Sustainable City

Real Estate Agent

While our country confronts the enviromental disaster in the Gulf Coast, we're reminded yet again of the need to transition to clean energy sources. New York City and State is taking the lead by constructing the ‘Solar Pipeline’, which includes a Solar Map and Solar Empowerment Zones that will integrate solar energy into our nation’s largest city and most complex grid.

New York City and Sustainable CUNY have created three Solar Empowerment Zones, strategically selected areas where solar power systems are most beneficial and technically viable, and where development of solar power will be encouraged. Solar power is a reliable, renewable source of electricity for New York City that reduces demand on the City's electrical grid. 

 New York City has over 1.6 billion square feet of rooftops. 

The three Solar Empowerment Zones - on the East Shore of Staten Island, in Downtown Brooklyn, and in Brooklyn's Greenpoint-Gateway section-were designed to reduce peak electricity demand and the associated pollution from dirty plants that operate when demand is at its highest, while also potentially deferring or eliminating the need for costly upgrades to the electrical system. 

Solar Panel Tax Abatements & Installations
Record Number of New Yorkers Have Applied for Solar Panel Abatements in 2010. To encourage the use of sustainable technology, the City offers property tax abatements to property owners that install solar panels on their building's rooftops. 

This year, property owners will receive a property tax abatement of 35% of the eligible expenditures over four years with a maximum abatement of $62,500 per year for four years or the building's annual tax liability, whichever is less.

Under the solar panel tax abatement program, solar panels have been installed at 25 buildings across the City, five times the number of systems approved and installed last year. Savings from these installations vary on the size and type of the building.  A single-family house can save approximately $2,600 a year on energy costs.  Property owners can also receive rebates from their utility company.

Interested in buying a new green (LEED) certified condo recently built or under construction in Manhattan?  Go to nycnewdevelopments fill out the buyer form and write green in the comment section. I will send you email listings of green condos that match your buying criteria.


Green Related Blog Posts:


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Tips for Greening your Apartment or Home

Wind Turbines on NYC Skyscrapers & Bridges

New-York State-Green-Tax Incentives

Manhattan's New Eco Friendly Condo Developments


Green NYC: TreesNYC Month - April 

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Green Skating at The Polar Rink


 Courtesy of:

Mitchell Hall, Associate Broker, The Corcoran Group

 Real estate questions and referrals are always welcomed.

©Mitchell Hall 2006-20010


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Comments (16)

Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


It is so heartening to hear how each city and state is working on using alternative energies.  Looking forward to being able to sustain ourselves without foreign oli.  Imagine what the political arena would be like!

Jun 13, 2010 04:14 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Mitchell, nothing like a little tax abatement to get a movement toward solar energy going!

Jun 13, 2010 06:16 AM
Anna Tolstoy
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Natick, MA

Finally! So great to hear this!


BTW, what about industrial buildings, offices and public facilities, any green in the horizon?

Jun 20, 2010 04:06 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

It makes sense to me that we should be looking at finding alternative energy sources.

Jun 20, 2010 04:27 PM
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Mitchell -- Why not start at the top (no pun intended).  With the huge deficits facing the State of NY into the forseeable future, it needs to start at the bottom, middle and top!  Great post.

Jun 20, 2010 04:42 PM
Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn

Michael, Thanks for stopping by. I think the political arena would be very different if we didn't depend on foreign oil. Not only energy policies but foreign policy too.

Pat, Thanks for the feature week in review. Real estate developers and home buyers love tax abatements. Tax abatements to US businesses and homeowners that in the long run will save money and be clean is a much better policy than subsidizing the oil industry including foreign oil companies such as British Petroleum for developing technologies for deep water drilling spilling.

Anna, All NYC schools, hospitals, police and fire stations and city facilities are being converted to more energy-efficient buildings. Last April the first multi-story green industrial facility opened at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The facility will be used to manufacture eco-friendly products and will become a laboratory for new sustainable products and create new permanent jobs in a new industry.

Christine, Thanks for your comment. The federal government talks about alternative energy every time there is an oil crises. NYC has a comprehensive 30 year plan called planyc2030

Chris, Thanks, NY State is facing huge deficits. Fortunately Mayor Bloomberg is more fiscally disciplined than all the politicians in Albany. The city would be facing even greater deficits but he planned by saving revenue from the boom years for the budget during recession years. He estimates "the City's conservation investments will take an estimated 220-megawatt bite out of New York's peak power demand. And within five years, they'll have paid for themselves. After that, they'll be money-makers".


Jun 20, 2010 05:43 PM
Scott Baker Coldwell Banker Realty - Liberty Township, OH
Realtor Homes for Sale Cincinnati/Dayton Ohio

With that amount of rooftop space, probably a lot of it unused, it makes perfect sense to tap into the power of the sun.

Thank you

Jun 21, 2010 01:13 AM
Lorraine or Loretta Kratz
Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions. - San Marcos, CA
Certified Negotiation Consultants

I have made a conscious decision in my world to be as green as possible. I want to be less dependent on fossil fue if at  all possible. Here in California we have so many options --- glad to see New York making the effort to change.

Jun 21, 2010 02:46 AM
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

1.6 billion? with a B? Calling Carl Sagan. Talk about leveraging what you already have. 

Jun 21, 2010 03:07 AM
Erik Elsea
Erik Elsea-Jones & Co. Realty - Fort Myers, FL

This is great news! I wish we had more interest and support down here in Florida. It is the Sunshine State! Thanks for the post.

Jun 21, 2010 05:06 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Great stuff and this is another reason why I Love NY! I bookmarked it so i can check your links and thank you for that too.

Jun 21, 2010 05:11 AM
Michael Eisenberg
eXp Realty - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Real Estate Guy

Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the white house sometime in the 1970's, it's amazing we aren't using solar power more than we are 40 years later and are still so dependent on oil.   I wonder about the influence of Ronald Regan removing the solar panels was, too bad he didn't add some more.  Glad to see NY moving in a positive direction.

Jun 21, 2010 07:05 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Mitchell..what a fantastic post ...Great idea !


Jun 21, 2010 07:22 AM
Aaron Seekford
Arlington Realty, Inc. - Arlington, VA
Ranked Top 1% Nationwide 703-836-6116

Really interesting article. It's prompted me to investigate our solar situation here.

Jun 21, 2010 08:44 AM
Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn

Scott, Thanks, The sun has power, and rooftops can be used for wind turbines too.

Lorraine, Every little bit helps. I gave up my car.

Philip, 1.6 billion who knew?

Erik, At least you don't need to burn oil for heat in Florida but the sun can power a lot of air conditioners.

Joe, Thanks, The post about wind turbines on bridges is interesting.

Michael, If only we listened to Jimmy Carter instead of making fun of him wearing sweaters and turning down thermostats.

Hannah, Thanks,

Aaaron, There is a market for green condos. Solar panels can go in windows too

Dedra, That black out was awful it was so hot and pitch black that night. Sorry you had that experience while visiting.

Jun 21, 2010 06:14 PM
Susan Brown
Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too) - Kingwood, TX

Mitchell, Sounds like a good incentive for those who want to work toward solar assistance.  Way to go NYC!

Jun 22, 2010 06:15 AM