New York Building Solar Project Incorporates Community Solar Needs

Empire State Realty Trust has shared plans for a local solar project at their Harrison, N.Y. office property. The property improvement will be a new revenue source. It will be contracted for the next 25-years, with approximately 40% of the monetary credit generated by the project going towards the ongoing cost of powering the Westchester office building. The rest of the credits will be available to local residents to share in the solar project’s benefits, which include electricity cost savings. The project will be completed at no cost for ESRT and will include a parking canopy solar array that will provide elemental shelter year-round for approximately 500 vehicles, an 8.2-MWh storage system, as well as 80 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

“Companies look to ESRT to help them achieve critical sustainability goals which attract and retain employees who value environmental leadership and action,” states Anthony E. Malkin, ESRT’s chairman, president and CEO. “This project helps ESRT meet our sustainability objectives, contributes renewable power to our community, will help to attract tenants, and benefit our shareholders.”

ESRT will work with PowerFlex (a provider of onsite renewable power solutions) to complete the project. PowerFlex is a subsidiary EDF Renewables North America. This project was a part of NYSERDA’s NY-Sun Program, which supports the affordability and growth of solar energy implementation across the state.

“Tenants of 500 Mamaroneck have a leg up to achieve their goals simply through their tenancy in the building,” says Dana Robbins Schneider, ESRT’s senior vice president of sustainability, energy and ESG. “The property is now uniquely positioned to reach some of real estate’s most aggressive ESG targets, to improve the tenant experience, and to generate an innovative new source of cash flow. This community solar and storage project at 500 Mamaroneck will cost ESRT zero capital investment, generate stable, positive free cash flow over a 25-year period, and improve 500’s competitive position.”

The addition of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and battery storage ensures that tenants have reliable power and can support increased demand for EV transportation at no additional cost.

“We are excited to work with ESRT to provide a comprehensive energy solution that incorporates multiple low-carbon energy technologies,” adds Raphael Declercq, EVP of onsite solutions and strategy for EDF Renewables North America. “By combining solar, storage and EV charging solutions, ESRT demonstrates its strong commitment to sustainability with a holistic and forward-looking view. Additionally, ESRT not only increases its own resiliency, but also shares the financial and environmental benefits of renewable energy with its surrounding area through community solar.”