City of White Plains Completes 6.8 MW Community Solar Portfolio
Real Estate In-Depth | July 7, 2022
WHITE PLAINS—The City of White Plains and DSD Renewables (DSD) have completed the construction of a nine-site, 6.8-megawatt (MW) community solar portfolio, the largest municipal solar energy deployment in Westchester County.
The portfolio is expected to generate 8,100 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy annually, tripling the amount of solar energy produced in Westchester County and enough to power more than 700 homes each year. The New York Power Authority (NYPA) was the city’s energy advisor for the project.
The portfolio consists of canopy, rooftop, and ground-mount installations at four parking garages, Gillie Park, the Ebersole Ice Rink, Gedney Way Recycling Facility, Water Storage Site and the Sanitation Complex. Energy storage systems totaling 1.76 MW / 8 MWh were also installed at the city’s Recycling Facility and the Shapham Place parking garage.
White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach said, “The city partnered with New York Power Authority (NYPA) and Distributed Solar Development (DSD) to create a successful 6.8 MW community solar portfolio that will not only benefit residents today, but future generations. Public-private partnerships will drive the proliferation of clean-energy projects through New York State creating a robust renewable energy market. I am grateful to NYPA and DSD for their counsel and collaboration during this project.”
He added, “We are in a climate crisis and are obligated to recognize the urgency and take deliberate action to build a sustainable, resilient planet. The City of White Plains will continue to serve as a sustainability leader by investing in and implementing renewable energy initiatives that will meaningfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
The city, as well as residents and local businesses subscribed to the community solar project, will receive a 10% discount for credits applied to their energy bill. Between energy cost savings and lease payments for hosting the systems, the installations are expected to deliver approximately $1 million in value annually to the City of White Plains.
NYPA is the acting energy advisor and is providing oversight on the project. NYPA also helped the city with the competitive bid process to select a qualified vendor for the comprehensive city-wide project.
“The New York Power Authority is pleased to have played a key role in helping the City of White Plains create an expansive, unique portfolio of solar and storage systems that offer renewable energy to reduce the region’s carbon footprint,” said Justin E. Driscoll, Interim President and CEO of NYPA. “As the commercial hub of Westchester County, White Plains is setting an example for other communities looking to develop alternative clean energy options. Hopefully other municipalities will follow suit and help our state further advance its bold climate action goals.”
The projects incorporated several infrastructure improvements, such as a new roof for the Ebersole Ice Rink and an innovative enclosed solar canopy storage area for the water department, which avoided significant capital spending by the city. The canopies across many sites feature a proprietary integrated water management system that manages water from rain and snow melt.
At the Gedney Way Recycling Facility, DSD’s canopy team designed the first floating foundation canopy mounted on a landfill cap. Additionally, two canopy systems at the site incorporate sidewalls to store and protect city equipment.
“We’re honored to be a part of a portfolio that has been so transformational for the City of White Plains,” says David Eisenbud, Senior Director of Business Development for DSD’s Origination group. DSD is headquartered in Schenectady, NY. “Our expertise and design capabilities have enabled us to overcome the challenges of delivering clean energy systems, with such significant energy capacity, to a dense urban area. This unique portfolio positions the city as a leader in solar adoption and shows other communities what is possible when it comes to clean energy.”
Boston-based Perch Energy will manage the community solar subscriptions.