This will result in the installation of over 6,500 rooftop panels across 45 buildings, a job that is expected to be completed by next year. The project will bring enough renewable energy to offset the greenhouse gas emissions of five million vehicle miles driven each year or the carbon emissions of 355 homes.
Once finished, the rooftop panels will produce 2.875 million kilowatt hours of electricity, which will serve the borough’s energy needs while spearheading the effort to engage in more renewable energy practices on a large scale.
"Coastal cities like New York are particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change and, as a corporate citizen, we have an obligation to do our part," said Amir Sobhraj, financial controller of Zara Realty. "This comprehensive renewable energy upgrade will not only help make the air we breathe cleaner, it will lower costs over the long term, providing incentives to continue pursuing the goal of reducing our carbon footprint and converting to clean energy."
Premier Solar Solutions, based in Deer Park, Long Island, is undertaking the $6.5 million project, along with Brooklyn-based energy consultants Sol Alliance. 50 jobs will be created with the project.
“As a Queens native, it gives me great pride to be involved with and spearheading the way our city generates and uses electricity,” said Chris Hoffmann, founder of Premier Solar Solutions.
Zara Realty’s plan is in alignment with the state’s Reforming the Energy Vision, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent while generating 70 percent of state-wide electricity from renewable resources by 2030.
The project especially adheres to the City’s OneNYC 2050 plan, which aims for an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, since buildings are the source of nearly 75 percent of the total greenhouse gasses emitted by City, according to OneNYC.
Zara says it intends on utilizing every square foot available across all 45 buildings in order to maximize the design of the solar panels, such as capabilities to lift and tilt above the roofline and harvest as much solar energy as possible.
“This is going to be a game changer for the goal of moving into renewable energy,” added Tony Subraj, vice president of Zara Realty. “Clean energy is the future, and as we continue modernizing and upgrading older buildings to meet the demands of today’s world, converting to solar energy in our properties will be at the forefront of that effort.”