The Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center Local Development Corporation (GMDC) is a not-for-profit real estate development organization dedicated to the preservation and creation of permanent affordable manufacturing space for small and medium-sized industrial firms in and around the Greenpoint/Williamsburg neighborhoods of Brooklyn, NY.
Project funding from Clean Air Communities (CAC) is helping GMDC finance the installation of two separate PowerGuard Photovoltaic Roofing Systems (PPRS), a 59 kW PPRS with a 50 kW storage battery at 810 Humboldt Street, and a 56 kW PPRS at 1155 Manhattan Avenue. Both buildings are owned and operated by GMDC.
GMDC is working with the PowerLight Corporation, a California-based solar energy consultant, to implement this project. The $300,000 grant from CAC will cover approximately 30% of the total project cost. The PowerLight Corporation has secured an additional $300,000 for the project through the NYSERDA photovoltaics program. GMDC has received preliminary approval for a $500,000 loan at 5% interest through the NYSERDA Energy Smart Loan Program and the Community Capital Bank. The total project value for the PPRS project at GMDC, including leveraged funding and in-kind contributions, is approximately $1.0 to $1.25 million.
The installation of the PPRS meets the CAC emission reduction goals by cutting back substantially on the building's reliance on a range of heavily polluting electrical generation sources. The PPRS offsets utility electricity purchases, reduces utility charges for peak power draw, reduces heating and air conditioning costs by adding roof insulation and shading, and extends the life of the roof underneath it. Through its community education components, the Project will also continue to advance the goals of environmental justice in Greenpoint, a low-income community.
An integrated "Data Acquisition System" is used to continuously measure electricity output from the PPRS at the Premises. This data is used in order to determine the reduction in required energy from Con Edison output and specific pollutants. Measuring the emission baseline will be performed by gathering and analyzing the emissions information available from Con Ed for their plants that generate electricity for Greenpoint users.
The project will also include a complete data acquisition system to monitor GMDC PPRS performance and meteorological conditions by scanning system operational parameters each second, and storing 15 minute average values. GMDC is under contract with PowerLight to access and process these data from PowerLight's office in Berkeley, California for a period of 3 years following installation. Processing will result in tabular and graphical summaries of the following variables: availability (monthly), AC energy production (daily totals), peak AC power (daily peak and daily graphs), and performance index (measured AC energy output/simulated AC energy).
Summary data of the GMDC PowerGuard system will be posted in graphical and alphanumeric formats on the internet for access by any GMDC computer or any other computer having Internet connection, and tied also to the Clean Air Communities web-site. These data offer tremendous educational value for students in assessing performance issues with state-of-the-art photovoltaic systems.
Concurrent to and following system installation, GMDC will work with CAC, PowerLight, the Marino Organization and New York Shines to perform both local and city-wide community outreach. GMDC, PowerLight and New York Shines will also install public kiosks and signage to promote the project and the project sponsors.
The goal of the GMDC community outreach and targeted marketing program is to heighten PV awareness in North Brooklyn and around New York City and to demonstrate that solar power systems can be a cost-effective, reliable, and environmentally attractive option. GMDC will also inform the public of the CAC program and its partnering agencies and organizations.
A symposium and ribbon cutting events were held at GMDC in October, 2002, involving 200-300 people, many of whom live or work in the Greenpoint-Williamsburg area; we estimate media publicity reached approximately 200,000. CAC's growing network of prominent political, environmental and alternative energy technology figureheads was tapped for speaking roles and program endorsement.