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The coolest city in the world has a new claim for being hot.

As in, solar energy hot.

New York City has announced it will be a Solar Energy Hub.

What’s that?

It’s basically the whole city being a  living laboratory to figure out the best, more cost efficient ways for cities around the world to get solar-powered.

Through a partnership with IBM, CUNY, and the City of New York, the Hub will track, measure, implement and then share best practices for deploying large-scale urban, networked PV power grids.

All online. All in real-time.

Note the triple-win partnership: business, academic, government.

Via SustainableBusiness.com:

NYC Solar Hub to Bring Solar to Cities Worldwide

Using IBM’s intelligent software platform for Smarter Cities, the output of every solar system in the city can be seen in real time, giving crucial information on whether that’s enough energy to offset costly upgrades to the grid or use fossil fuel  generators during peak usage periods.

CUNY Ventures, a City University of New York (CUNY) Economic Development Corporation, will be able to monitor and analyze solar production and capacity through the NYC Solar Portal on the web. They’ll be able to fine-tune current resource use, quickly identify barriers, foster inter-agency permitting and tracking, solar empowerment zones, and a NYC Solar Map – which shows existing solar PV and solar thermal installations in the city and estimates the solar PV potential for every, single rooftop (1 million in NYC).

Included in the individual calculations for every building is how much solar can be installed, how much power that will generate, how much can be saved on an annual electricity bill, how many pounds of carbon emissions can be reduced each year, and what the equivalent would be in planting trees.