Bright Power and The Netherlands’ energy experts explore the Brooklyn neighborhood
On the heels of New York Energy Week, Bright Power and a delegation of Microgrid experts from the Netherlands teamed up for a bicycle tour of the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook. Even two years after Superstorm Sandy, Red Hook has not completely recovered, but where they’ve seen hardship, there is also opportunity.
At home, the Dutch have mastered comprehensive energy planning for entire communities, leading the global energy sector in smart microgrids, energy storage and electric mobility solutions. The Dutch delegation of energy experts, convened by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York and Energy Transition New York, included progressive grid operators Alliander and Cogas, and other advanced battery storage experts. Recognizing the need for a local advocate, Bright Power invited Gita Nandan, Red Hook resident, founding partner of sustainable architecture firm Thread Collective and co-chair of the Red Hook NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program, which recently released a comprehensive plan for making the neighborhood more resilient against climate risks.
Joined by Bright Power’s Henry Misas and Klaar De Schepper, the team took to the streets in traditional Dutch fashion, on Dutch bicycles. The team toured the neighborhood from IKEA to New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)’s Red Hook Houses while stopping along the way to hear first-hand accounts of Red Hook’s tumultuous history. The community stands to see an economic and cultural resurgence. Ideally, these efforts would revitalize the neighborhood through an influx of jobs, affordable housing and new businesses. A large-scale energy project is the perfect catalyst for holistic changes such as these.
It’s important to modernize Red Hook’s energy profile not only to revitalize the neighborhood, but also to protect it from the next storm and preserve it for generations to come. This global team of innovators is well-positioned to consult on protecting cities against future climate risks, as demonstrated by fact that four of the five winning projects of New York City’s “Rebuild by Design” competition are US-Dutch collaborations. The forward-thinking neighborhood is making resiliency a priority and we are excited to see how strategic energy solutions can shape this promising neighborhood.
It has been a fruitful award season for Bright Power and our dedicated partners. We are always proud to contribute to the success of our partners’ innovative projects, especially when they are recognized by our peers. Help us raise a glass and congratulate the visionaries at Hudson Companies and Hebrew SeniorLife who made these award-winning projects possible.
Gateway Elton – Association of Energy Engineers’ (AEE)
2014 Renewable Energy Project of the Year
Gateway Elton Street, Hudson Companies’ 3-phase, 8-building, multifamily housing development located in Brooklyn, has been recognized as AEE’s 2014 Renewable Energy Project of the year. The site’s solar electric system will, upon completion of all three phases, contain 1 megawatt of generating capacity, making it the largest residential solar photovoltaic installation in New York State.
The vision of Aaron Koffman from Hudson Companies was to maximize the power capacity and annual energy production of a roof top solar system for this large-scale affordable housing complex. Pulling off an installation of that magnitude in an urban setting was no easy feat, but the Bright Power team was happy to accept the challenge. To achieve the desired scale of the system, we attached a series of monolithic tilted steel dunnage structures to the building rooftops, spanning the four buildings included in Phase 1 of the project.
To ensure that the solar panels are always working properly, we included an online monitoring system, allowing us to dynamically measure production. Using this tool, we’ve found that the system is offsetting 42% of the total electricity usage in the residential common area and retail spaces, putting it on track to pay for itself in just four years. Additionally, the system is exceeding its performance expectations with virtually no maintenance requirements. We look forward to continuing to work and innovate with this high-performing team for the next phases of this project and beyond.
Jack Satter House – Winner of Two EBies from the Urban Green Council for Achievements in Energy and Water Saving Projects
Double congratulations are in order for the Jack Satter House and its Executive Director, Stephen Post. The Bright Power team stood by proudly as Stephen accepted two awards at The Urban Green Council’s EBies- the Grammy’s of energy efficiency- at the Hard Rock Cafe on June 9th in NYC. Funded by HUD’s Multifamily Green Retrofit Program, Jack Satter House, in Revere Beach, MA, won in two categories, “Take Me to the River: Winning Water Savings”, and “Power to the People: Exceptional Energy Savings”. Bright Power, in partnership with Hebrew SeniorLife, West Mechanical Contractors and KOW Building Consultants, had the honor of having our contribution recognized on two EBie-winning projects. The energy and water retrofit at Jack Satter House was a success thanks to the collaborative efforts of all those involved, including the low-income elderly individuals and families who call Jack Satter House home. In just twelve months, the site achieved a 21% reduction in source energy and a remarkable 48% reduction in water use through conservation measures large and small. A combination of high-efficiency technology upgrades and improved system controls as well as residents’ cooperation and enthusiasm for efficiency took the savings realized from good to award-winning. By keeping the residents, management, and maintenance staff engaged in the process from the initial development phase to final system commissioning, the occupants at Jack Satter House will have the knowledge and the know-how to maintain the energy and water savings for years to come.
Want to see more photos from the event? Click here!
Put your benchmarking results to use!
NYC’s energy benchmarking law, Local Law 84, was created with the intention of bringing energy usage to the forefront of building owners’ minds. By revealing how inefficient some buildings are compared to their peers, the City is hoping to spur energy efficiency increasing measures.
In order to help turn the benchmarking results into action, Bright Power has released a short white paper that shows how NYC multifamily buildings compare to their peers. This tool utilizes the Energy Use Index (EUI) provided by the benchmarking results to put your building performance into context. Download your copy here.
REMINDER: 2014 Benchmarking is due May 1st!
Don’t let the energy markets take you for a ride.
If you’re looking at your utility bills from this past winter, chances are you’re not too pleased. Not only did you face skyrocketing energy prices, but also angry tenants and shareholders demanding answers. Does that ring any bells? So why was this winter so jaw-dropping? Blame it on the rain (and the snow and the cold). Unforeseen storms and temperatures sent demand through the roof, severely depleting our country’s natural gas reserves. The drastic decrease in storage created a volatile market which is still in recovery. And, because electricity prices follow natural gas prices, your electric bills shot up, too.
But you don’t need to be so exposed to the wild fluctuations of the energy markets. You can stick with your local utility company to cover your energy supply and ride the energy market rollercoaster… or you can work with a valued partner to bid out to multiple Energy Supply Companies (ESCOs), find competitive rates and develop pragmatic strategies to accommodate your energy needs and protect you from future price spikes. For example, by buying your energy ahead of time – at the right time – you can mitigate risk for you, your building, and your tenants and shareholders.
How can Bright Power help? Bright Power’s newly expanded Energy Procurement team will evaluate your past, present, and projected energy usage. That assessment, along with a deep understanding of the energy market, will form the foundation of your customized energy procurement strategy. Our trusted advisors are continually monitoring the markets to seize opportunities to save while simultaneously managing and reducing risks on our clients’ behalf. Start preparing for tomorrow, today.