NWBCC, BlocPower To Use Solar Energy To Reduce Building Costs

Neighbors come together to install solar at up to 20% discount


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced communities across the state have come together to bring clean and affordable solar power to their areas at an estimated 20% savings. With 26 campaigns launching through Reforming the Energy Vision, communities can obtain solar installations as a large group rather than an individual household—making it cheaper for everyone involved. In addition, the program is helping remove many of the obstacles that inhibit solar options, such as feasibility studies and finding the right contractor.

“I encourage anyone considering solar for their home or business to learn more about our resources and join the campaign today,” Governor Cuomo said.

NWBCC_logoThe New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has partnered with 26 community campaigns, including Building Power in the Northwest Bronx, across the state to encourage more New Yorkers to sign on to the Community Solar NY program. Building Power is a partnership between the Northwest Community and Clergy Coalition and BlocPower. The solar project is managed by Emerald Cities Collaborative. Building Power is a  state-funded program helping faith institutions in the Northwest Bronx redirect resources from powering their buildings to building community power.

While Ms. Sandra Lobo, NWBCC executive director, did not respond directly to a Bronx Chronicle inquiry about her organization’s plan for implementing the Community Solar NY program in Bronx neighborhoods, TBC did learn that at least six faith institutions, including Fordham United Methodist Church, are involved in finalizing an agreement to finance energy efficiency retrofits. A source said that the BlocPower energy efficiency retrofit program would assist churches overburdened by costs of heating and lighting their churches, while providing an opportunity to create good jobs for “hard-to-employ” people, especially youth. 

Who is BlocPower

BlocPower is a Brooklyn-based clean tech startup that markets and finances the installation of solar and energy efficiency upgrades. BlocPower does so by providing no-money down financing to faith-based centers, nonprofits, small businesses, and residential property owners to support their execution of cost-saving energy efficiency retrofit projects. Promotional materials describe BlocPower as helping “institutions in financially underserved areas to obtain additional resources that revitalize those institutions and, by extension, their communities.”

Reforming the Energy Vision

Under Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision plan, New York State is actively spurring clean energy innovation, bringing in new investments and improving consumer choice and affordability through initiatives such as the Clean Energy Fund, $1 billion NY-Sun Initiative, $1 billion NY Green Bank, $40 million NY-Prize competition for community microgrids and others. New York is pioneering a new statewide approach, giving customers new opportunities for energy savings, local power generation, and enhanced reliability to provide safe, clean, and affordable electric service for all customers.

Community Solar NY supports these community efforts by providing marketing materials, technical assistance and funding, and by sharing best practices to help community projects succeed.

Community Solar NY is part of Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision plan, which spurs clean energy innovation and investment. Programs include the $1 billion NY-Sun Initiative, to advance the scale-up of solar and move the state closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry, and K-Solar, which provides technical and financial support to enable public schools to install solar with no upfront costs.

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