Ascendant Neighborhood Development (AND), an affordable housing company working in East and Central Harlem, has been working since 2015 on a plan to renovate and modernize 21 buildings in its portfolio, and Solar One is delighted to have partnered with AND on the solar portion of their strategy.
Our Here Comes Solar Affordable Solar team did the site assessments and provided technical advice to AND about which of their buildings were best suited for solar installations, and did the estimates of how big the systems could be and how much electricity they could generate. As a result, AND will be installing a 197 kW array, which will generate more than 235,000 kWh every year- enough to provide electricity to all the common areas of all 21 Ascendant Heritage buildings.
The Ascendant Heritage Apartments project is a cluster of 21 multi-family buildings in East Harlem located between East 100th St and East 117th Streets. Many are adjacent small multi-family buildings, and their narrow footprints limit usable space for solar, especially after accounting for FDNY fire code access pathway and setback requirements. To overcome this obstacle, the Ascendant Heritage solar project is utilizing canopies, which elevate the solar arrays nine feet above the surface of the roof. Canopies prevent the need for six foot wide fire paths, maximizing solar capacity for each roof while still complying with FDNY fire code. Without canopies, AND would need to either significantly increase the number of rooftops with solar – which would increase costs – or settle for a much smaller system, which would decrease savings potential.
Harlem is one of the neighborhoods that can benefit most from solar electricity; the neighborhood has higher asthma rates and worse air quality than other parts of the city, and solar helps make the air cleaner, among its many benefits. BrightPower will be handling the installation design and construction, and the whole project is expected to go on line in late 2018.