Thursday, April 9, 2009

Brooklyn Navy Yard Sails Forward On Wind and Solar Power

Mayor Bloomberg came to the Brooklyn Navy Yard (BNY) yesterday to open the new Perry Avenue Building, the nation’s first multi-story green industrial facility. The $25 million building, which began construction 18 months ago, is on track to receive LEED gold certification and features the first permanent building-mounted wind turbines to be operating anywhere in New York City.

The building “heralds the emergence of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the city’s most successful industrial business, as the nation’s greenest industrial center as well,” said Mayor Bloomberg.
He also announced the creation of Duggal Greenhouse, a 60,000-square-foot LEED platinum certified facility that will be a “center for designing and manufacturing eco-friendly products.”

These projects, as well as other green initiatives, will create 800 new construction jobs and “more than 1,700 new permanent jobs over the next two years, many of them in green manufacturing and design,” the mayor said. Right now, there are 350 green jobs at the Navy Yard, but “within two years we project that there will be nearly three times that many.”

Mayor Bloomberg made his announcements on the roof of the building, in front of the new wind turbines. He was accompanied by Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert Lieber, BNY Development Corporation Chairman Alan Fishman, BNY Development Corporation President Andrew Kimball, Borough President Marty Markowitz, Council Member David Yassky and Assembly Member Joseph Lentol.

The turbines, combined with rooftop solar panels, will provide electricity for the building’s lobby and other common areas, which will amount to about 10 percent of the overall energy. The rest comes from a power plant in the Navy Yard, which uses natural gas.

Other green features of the Perry Avenue Building are reflective roofing and pavement to reduce surface temperatures, the use of recycled rain water in toilets, recycled building materials, high-efficiency lighting fixtures, natural ventilation systems and special accommodation for bicyclists and low-emission vehicles.

SurroundArt will lease the building, and will create a Museum Resource Campus to serve the art industry and institutions in New York City.

Five wind- and solar-powered street lights (below), created by Duggal Visual Solutions (who will create the Duggal Greenhouse), have been installed in the Navy Yard. Eventually, there will be 90 of these street lights in the facility.

“Not only do the [wind- and solar-powered street lights] cost 35 percent less to install than their more conventional counterparts, they’ll also save the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation about $11,000 annually in the cost of electricity,” said Mayor Bloomberg.

Borough President Markowitz said of Baldev Duggal, the mastermind behind the wind-solar street lamps, “these are the kind of visionaries that this city is investing in. That’s why I know that our future is going to be superb. It has to be. New York, and especially Brooklyn, among the most environmentally active communities across the country, will lead the way.”

President and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, Andrew Kimball, said, “It’s easy to be green when you have a mayor who’s become an international/national leader on urban sustainable issues ... it’s easy to be green when you have local elected officials who are pushing us everyday to create those jobs, particularly green jobs.

“Most of all it’s easy to be green when you have tenants like SurroundArt and Duggal Visual Solutions and 30 other green manufacturers already doing business inside the Navy Yard,” Kimball continued. “People across America are talking about green jobs, they’re talking about the future. We have those jobs here today at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.”

The expansion of the Navy Yard and creation of green sector jobs is part of the city’s “Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan.” This plan will “help New Yorkers find work today, create jobs in diverse sectors in the future, and make our neighborhoods more affordable and more green as we go,” said Deputy Director Lieber.

New York City is implementing a $250 million capital funding program to improve and modernize the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s infrastructure. The expansion will add over 1.5 million square feet of new space. Mayor Bloomberg announced last month that the city’s $35 million project to reconstruct several roadways in the Navy Yard area and upgrade water and sewer systems will benefit from nearly $5 million now available due to the Federal stimulus allocation to the city.

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