Kew Gardens Hills co-op celebrates installation of 1.55 million watt solar energy system

Photo credit: Georgetown Mews

A Kew Gardens Hills co-op is now a lot greener following the completion of one of the largest solar energy projects in New York State.

Members of the Georgetown Mews Owners’ Corporation along with Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal and Councilman Rory Lancman celebrated the newly installed 1,550,000-watt solar energy system.

The project will provide electricity for residents of the Georgetown Mews apartments while saving approximately $400,000 per year. The Georgetown Mews will also have the ability to sell excess electricity back to Con Edison.

Renewable energy experts Sol Alliance, who served as the project advisors, chose Premier Solar Solutions to install the project at the co-op. Premier Solar Solutions installed more than 4,500 solar panels on 32 buildings and 90 separate roof surfaces.

According to Rosenthal’s office, the Georgetown Mews project is the first large cooperative solar system installed in New York and the first large project of its kind in Queens. It is also the largest completed resident project for which the New York State Energy and Development Agency has provided incentives.

Project manager Steve Owen calculated that the solar energy generated from the newly installed equipment is the equivalent of recycling over 2 million soda cans, planting 21,000 trees, recycling 385,000 pounds of waste and saving 36,000 barrels of gasoline.

By using solar energy, residents at the 930 garden apartments at the Georgetown Mews will avoid releasing approximately 920,000 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually.

“The Georgetown Mews solar project is a major environmental victory for Queens,” said Rosenthal. “This endeavor has set the bar for which other developments should strive to achieve. We are proud to celebrate how the dedicated efforts of a few, can make great contributions toward creating a greener, more sustainable New York.”

Mary Fischer, who is the president of the Georgetown Mews Owners’ Corporation has been a longtime advocate of solar energy. Fischer said that this is the fourth energy-saving program the co-op has completed over the last nine years.

According to Owens, the solar installation at Georgetown Mews coincides with Local Laws 92 and 94, both authored by Councilman Costa Constantinides. The environmental laws mandate that the city covers the roofs of certain buildings in green roofs or solar photovoltaic electricity generating systems.

“I want to thank all my local legislators for assisting the corporation in making the solar project a success,” said Fischer.

Other projects include insulating over 450,000 feet of attics, replacing all windows with energy-efficient models, installing electrical submeters and replacing 16 old boilers with energy-efficient models.

“Solar panel systems are one of the most efficient and sustainable forms of clean energy. The Georgetown Mews solar project will make a valuable contribution to the growth of renewable energy and will move Queens towards a clean energy future,” said Lancman.