GREEN ABOVE THE CITY

Housing over 60 thousand New Yorkers, Stuyvesant Town Peter Cooper Villiage, is going green with a simple coat of white. Find out how.

Aired on August 9, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

> WE ARE 12 STORIES UP ATOP ONE OF THESE SOLAR ROOFS HERE AT STUY TOWN, WHERE THERE IS A MASSIVE PROJECT UNDER WAY TO TURN ROOFTOP SPACE GREEN, USING WHITE PAINT.

AS PART OF OUR SERIES ON THE HUMAN IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE, WE'RE GOING TO STUY TOWN IN THE EAST VILLAGE, ONE OF THE CITY'S LARGEST RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITIES.

WE'LL LOOK AT HOW THEY'RE LOOKING TO REDUCE THEIR CARBON FOOTPRINT.

ONE OF THE RESIDENTS AT THE COMPLEX EXPLAINS WHAT'S HAPPENING UP THERE.

WHAT DO WE HAVE OUT HERE ON THE ROOF?

ALL THE ROOFS ARE WHITE.

THAT'S INTENTIONAL.

WE'VE GOT AND IMPLEMENTED THE COOL ROOFS PROJECT.

WE PAINT THEM WHITE.

THAT MAKES IT EASIER FOR US TO CONTROL THE THERMAL TEMPERATURES OF THE BUILDING.

HERE YOU SEE THE TRACKS HAVE ALREADY BEEN LAID ON THE ROOFS.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT IS THE WIRING WILL BE LAID DOWN AND WE'LL LAYER IN THE SOLAR PANELS THAT EVERYBODY KNOWS.

THE WHITE ROOFS AND SOLAR PANELS ARE A VERY EFFICIENT OPERATION.

THE PROGRAM HELPS NEW YORK CITY BUILDING OWNERS TO PAINT THEIR ROOFS WHITE, LOWERING BUILDING TEMPERATURES BY AS MUCH AS 30% AND CUTTING AIR CONDITIONING COSTS.

STARTING IN NOVEMBER OF 2017, PROJECT SOLAR BEGAN TO TURN THE ROOFS INTO A SUN-SOAKING OASIS.

THIS IS THE CEO OF STUY TOWN.

WE HAD THE ABILITY TO MAKE AN IMPACT PRETTY QUICK.

RESIDENTS HAVE EXPRESSED TO US SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS, I'M PROUD TO LIVE HERE BECAUSE OF WHAT YOU'RE DOING.

STUY TOWN AND PETER COOPER VILLAGE ARE 110 ADDRESSES BUT 56 STRUCTURES WITH 22 ACRES OF ROOFTOP.

TO DATE, AND WE'VE BEEN AT THIS FOR ABOUT ACSEVEN MONTHS, WE HA 50% OF THOSE BUILDINGS INSTALLED.

ALL OF STUYVESANT TOWN, BETWEEN 20th AND 14th STREET, HAS ALL THE MATERIAL ON THE ROOFTOPS TODAY.

WE HAVE ABOUT 35% OF THOSE ROOFTOPS ACTIVE AND TAKING IN SOLAR ENERGY.

THE TEAM EXPECTS ALL 9,671 SOLAR PANELS TO BE INSTALLED ON ALL 22 ACRES OF ROOFTOP SPACE BY NEXT YEAR.

SO THIS IS A 3.8 MEGAWATT INSTALLATION.

THAT MEANS NOTHING TO THE LAYMAN, BUT WHAT IT REALLY EQUATES TO IS ABOUT 500 CARS PER YEAR REMOVED OFF OF THE ROAD.

ALSO IT POWERS THE EQUIVALENT OF 1,100 NEW YORK CITY APARTMENTS.

OVER THE LIFE OF THE PROJECT, WHICH IS ABOUT 25 YEARS, IT WILL REMOVE ABOUT 12,000 CARS OR PLANT THE EQUIVALENT OF 10,000 TREES.

THEY COME WITH A LITTLE BIT OF THEIR OWN BAGGAGE.

THE OWNERS ACQUIRED THE PROPERTY IN 2015 FOR $5.3 BILLION WITH A PROMISE TO KEEP AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR YEARS TO COME.

IF YOU THINK THIS PROJECT IS JUST A PR CAMPAIGN --

I WOULD SAY THAT'S AN UNFORTUNATE APPROACH.

WE HAD AN OPPORTUNITY IN MULTIFAMILY TO BE ABLE TO MAKE A STATEMENT WHICH AT THE SAME TIME IS DOING THE RIGHT THING.

THE OWNERS DON'T EXPECT TO SEE A RETURN ON THEIR MULTIMILLION DOLLAR INVESTMENT FOR AT LEAST TEN YEARS.

PROJECT SOLAR IS PART OF A WIDER COMMITMENT TO MAKE STUY TOWN AND PETER COOPER VILLAGE MORE SUSTAINABLE.

IT'S SOMETHING THE RESIDENTS ARE VOCAL ABOUT.

THIS MAN HAS LIVED HERE FOR 20 YEARS.

LOTS OF FLAT ROOFS, ALL THIS SPACE, IT MAKES SUCH SENSE.

IT'S AN INCREDIBLE COMMON SENSE ENTITY.

IT'S IN THE OWNER'S BEST INTERESTS BECAUSE THEY HAVE A SOURCE OF ELECTRICITY FOR BOTH EMERGENCIES AND THEY'RE ALSO REDUCING THE AMOUNT OF POLLUTION THAT THE COMPLEX GENERATES THROUGH THE USE OF HEAT, ELECTRICITY, AND, YOU KNOW, THE HOT WATER AND SO FORTH.

IT MAKE MAKES COMMON SENSE.

PLACES AROUND THE COUNTRY, WHERE THEY'RE USING LAND AS SOLAR FARMS.

THIS IS A ROOFTOP SOLAR FARM.

THE COMPLEX'S MASSIVE SCALE IS TAKING ITS ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT FAR BEYOND SOLAR PANELS.

STUY TOWN AND PETER COOPER VILLAGE HAVE ONE OF THE LARGEST COMPOSTING PROGRAMS IN THE CITY.

THAT ACCOUNTS FOR 17% OF ALL ORGANIC MATERIAL COLLECTED IN MANHATTAN, THAT'S RESIDENTIAL ORGANIC MATERIAL.

FOR EVERY FIVE POUNDS OF COMPOST COLLECTED IN MANHATTAN, ABOUT A POUND OF THAT COMES FROM STUY TOWN AND THOSE THOUSANDS OF POUNDS OF COMPOST ARE TURNED INTO FERTILIZER OR USED AS NATURAL GAS.

WE TAKE THE APPROACH OF BUILDING THIS COMMUNITY UP IN SO MANY DIFFERENT FACETS AND EMPLOYING RENEWABLE ENERGY IS JUST A WAY TO DO THAT.

WE'RE ABLE TO SHOW BUILDING OWNERS THAT DOING THE RIGHT THING COULD ALSO BE THE RIGHT THING TO DO FOR THE ENVIRONMENT.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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