NYPA Completes Solar Thermal Hot Water Projects at Five Firehouses in the Rockaways

Contact Information:
Connie Cullen
(914) 390-8196

Paul DeMichele, NYPA
(914) 390-8186


March 31, 2014


Photo and Caption

WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has completed the installation of solar thermal hot water systems at five New York City firehouses in the Rockaways section of Queens. The $550,000 investment will reduce operating costs and could lead to the wider use of the clean energy-transfer technology in other city government facilities.

“It is essential to ensure the reliable operation of critical public services,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “The new solar thermal hot water systems at five city firehouses are examples of pioneering clean energy technologies that the Power Authority and the city have partnered on to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.”

The New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) engaged NYPA to undertake the installations as part of a wider effort to bolster the energy systems of city public facilities and the operational performance and resiliency of those locations.

“In the wake of Sandy restoration in the Rockaways, DCAS is proud to have a partnership with the Fire Department and NYPA to bring renewable and resilient energy solutions to City operations in the area,” said DCAS Commissioner Stacey Cumberbatch. “As the hub for the City’s energy management, DCAS invests in many efficiency projects and this one is a great example of government agencies stepping up to provide needed and smart energy solutions.”

“The FDNY is committed to not only making New York City a safer place to live, but a greener one as well,” said Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano.  “With these new solar thermal hot water systems, the Department is continuing to make great strides towards reaching the city’s long-range sustainability goals. The result is a more energy efficient and less expensive Fire Department that still offers the best fire protection and pre-hospital medical care in the world.”

The solar thermal systems utilize solar energy to provide hot water for the firehouses. Water is stored in the basement and pumped to the roof to a system of panels containing evacuated glass tubes and copper pipe loops. The water travels through the vacuum-insulated piping, directly absorbing the radiant energy of the sun, before returning to the basement where it is stored in a hot water tank prior to use. A primary benefit of using the evacuated-tube technology is that the system is able to produce hot water year-round.

The solar thermal systems significantly curtail the natural gas usage by the firehouses as the facilities will only need to utilize their natural-gas fired burners as a backup during periods of low sunlight. Use of these systems will remove more than 14 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere annually and protect against energy price spikes inherent in the reliance on natural gas.

The projects were installed at firehouses at the following locations:

NYPA utilized Leonard Powers Inc., a Manhattan firm, for the installation of the solar thermal projects, which called for a variety of skilled professionals that included engineers, electricians, construction managers and various craft workers.

The installations directly support Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Build Smart NY initiative to increase energy efficiency in public buildings by strategically accelerating priority improvements in energy performance.


About NYPA:

■ The New York Power Authority has been designated as the lead entity via Executive Order 88 by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to form a central management and implementation plan to carry out his Build Smart NY plan to reduce energy use by state facilities by 20 percent by 2020. ■ NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.■ NYPA is the nation's largest state public power organization, through the operation of its 16 generating facilities in various parts of New York State, participation in a unique public/private partnership to contract for power from a clean generating plant in Queens, and its operation of more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■ More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state.■ For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, Wordpress, and LinkedIn.