Not only are residential solar electric systems on row houses still relatively rare in New York in 2014, they are also rarely visible since they are typically installed on flat roofs, three or more stories above the street. So it's understandable that many row house owners might have difficulty envisioning what a solar system on their home might even look like. In this short video, Here Comes Solar technical expert and seasoned solar installer Matt Myshkin gives a two-minute tour of a recently installed solar electric system on a brownstone in Sunset Park.
Here Comes Solar announces the publication of “The Story of Solarize Brooklyn: How a Team of Neighbors Expanded Solar Homeownership in New York City’s Most Populous Borough.” The report (pdf) sponsored by NYSERDA and commissioned by Solar One, illuminates how a small group of volunteers, led by green architect Ellen Honigstock, conceived of and implemented Solarize Brooklyn, the first of its kind effort to expand residential solar homeownership in Brooklyn. Through interviews with participating homeowners, solar installers, and members of the Solarize Brooklyn core team, the report examines the program’s origins, process, and impact while also illustrating how the campaign influenced the design and development of Solar One's successor initiative, Here Comes Solar.
Divided into two parts, “The Story of Solarize Brooklyn” highlights the program’s successes as well as key learnings that emerged in confronting the particular challenges of going solar in New York City. The second half of the report details the Here Comes Solar model, which draws heavily on insights from Solarize Brooklyn’s homeowners, installers, and core team. Also featured are “Homeowner Spotlights,” short narratives of specific participating homeowners and their experiences of the process.
“The Story of Solarize Brooklyn” offers a comprehensive study for anyone interested in learning about the volunteer-driven effort and its impact on residential solar in New York City.
Whether they rent their home, own a condo or have a shaded roof, many New Yorkers are currently unable to install solar energy systems. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, only 22-27% of residential roof space is suitable for on-site solar production. This leaves the majority of homes in the dark, without the economic and environmental benefits associated with solar.
2015 could be the year this changes.