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Brooklyn warehouse becomes community-solar-powered soccer facility through PACE financing

Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 23rd September

Distributed Solar Development (DSD) has acquired a 763-kW community solar project at an old industrial warehouse in Brooklyn, New York, which was renovated into an indoor community soccer facility leveraging a combination of local incentives. Initiated by Manhattan-based developer YSG Solar, the project will provide residents with access to clean, renewable energy at reduced rates, as well as a new recreational resource for the children and families of the community.

“DSD is extremely proud to be part of this unique project that provides all around benefits to the community,” says Jon Morton, VP of Acquisitions at DSD. “YSG Solar did an amazing job at leveraging incentives to bring renewable energy to an underserved community, while also improving the neighborhood at the same time.”

The old warehouse, which is located in the East New York Opportunity Zone and was in the process of transitioning tenants, was the perfect fit for the community solar project and renovation. Leveraging New York Local Law 96, which created PACE financing to fund relevant upgrades, and Local Law 97, which mandates carbon reduction targets for large buildings, YSG set the course for a complete rehabilitation of the warehouse to meet the needs of the new long-term tenant, Sofive, an indoor soccer facility operator.

“Urban development and construction naturally have many complexities. Incorporating multi-decade roof lease agreements adds an entirely new layer. The collaboration between DSD, the property owner, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) was crucial in the success of this project,” said David Magid, Managing Partner at YSG Solar. “Ultimately, the East New York Community Solar Garden will support New York City’s clean energy transformation.”

The project quickly attracted the attention of city economic officials, and was selected as the first solar project for NYCEDC’s Accelerated Sales Tax Exemption Program (ASTEP), which provides a sales tax exemption of up to $100,000 for industrial construction or renovations in underserved communities. The ASTEP program is run by the New York City Industrial Development Agency (NYCIDA). The NYCIDA is managed by the NYCEDC.

“New York’s recovery is reliant on a green future. With projects like the East New York Community Solar Garden, our city is bringing more clean renewable energy to residents and businesses,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Rachel Loeb. “We are helping create a blueprint for policies that spur smart redevelopment, and meet both business and sustainability goals. We are excited East New York residents will reap the financial, environmental, and recreational benefits from this solar project for years to come.”

Sofive will offtake about 30% of the energy produced onsite, while the remaining energy will be distributed to single family homes and renters in the area. PowerMarket will manage the subscriptions.

DSD and YSG are collaborating on another 10 MW of solar projects in New York State that are expected to reach shovel ready status by the end of 2021.

News item from DSD