Back in April, the New York City Council passed Local Laws 92 & 94 of 2019, two of five laws which comprise the Climate Mobilization Act, the City’s landmark emissions reduction legislation. These laws require new construction and all buildings undergoing major roof renovations to incorporate solar panels, green roofs or some combination of the two. Both laws go into effect on November 15th. Over the next several decades, this legislation will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from large buildings.

new york city council green energy nyc
The New York City Council rallied alongside advocates on the steps of City Hall to mark the passage of the Climate Mobilization Act.

New York City buildings use natural gas, heating oil or network steam to produce heat and hot water. According to the Inventory of New York City Greenhouse Gas Emissions, the combustion of these energy sources are responsible for 60% of the greenhouse gas emissions from buildings and almost 30% of total citywide emissions. One goal of the CMA is to shift buildings away from fossil fuel based heating and toward efficient electrical alternatives. As this transition unfolds, solar electric panels will play a larger role in covering – and decarbonizing – heating and cooling.

Since 2014, citywide solar installations have nearly quadrupled. This progress reflects the city’s sustainably-minded commitment to becoming an even friendlier market for solar power. New York currently ranks sixth among American cities in the capacity of its installed solar panels at approximately 200.03 MW.

flat roof solar panels nyc

However, installing in New York requires solar system design and construction methods that are somewhat bespoke to large cities. New York’s is a unique built environment with strict codes and rules that apply to it. This means that meeting the City’s ambitious goals is not only constrained by available roof space and willing adopters. It’s also limited by the number of installers who possess the expertise to make solar work across New York’s idiosyncratic roofscape.

Luckily Brooklyn SolarWorks is well equipped to meet this challenge, even on highly challenging flat roofs. In fact, it’s this very specialty that we have built our business on. Solar has historically been limited to portions of rooftops due to space competition with hatches, skylights and HVAC units. But solar adopters can overcome these limitations by elevating solar panels several feet above the roof surface with canopies. We have pioneered and popularized this method, resetting the rules on who can and cannot go solar in cities everywhere.

Our patented solar canopy, taking in the sun’s rays.

Planning new construction or major renovations in Brooklyn? Contact us so we can help you comply with NYC’s improved green energy requirements.

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