Westchester’s Push Into Community Solar Power

Local towns and corporations are banking on renewable energy to reduce costs for themselves and consumers.

Robert Martin Company, an Elmsford-based real estate developer, has teamed up with G&S Solar, a nationwide solar company, to bring a Community Solar project to make Westchester more environmentally friendly.

The product of this collaboration with the Manhattan-based energy company is a renewable-energy plan called the Community Solar program. RMC, which owns 6 million square feet of real estate and manages over 60 properties, is aiming to start this program by installing solar panels throughout its own properties in Westchester.

The basis of this program is guided by the non-profit organization Sustainable Westchester, which will connect RMC and G&S to small businesses and local residents. Through this, they are aiming to bring sustainable living to those nearby who wish to save money but can’t install their own solar panels.

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Starting projects include installations at RMC properties like the 1.3 million square-foot Cross-Westchester Executive Park in Elmsford and the 770,000 square-foot Mid-Westchester Executive Park property in Hawthorne.

RMC and G&S Solar are working closely with Con Edison, which will handle the manufacturing aspect of the project. According to Robert Martin Vice President Jeremy Frank, they are setting high expectations.

At a solar installation in Port Chester (from left front): John Faltings, President of G&S Solar; Abe Naparstek, Chief Operating Officer, G&S Solar; Greg Berger, President of Robert Martin Company; (back row) David Katz, Senior Director, Renewable Energy, G&S Solar; Jeremy Frank, Vice President – Investments, Robert Martin Company; Damian Finley, Vice President – Construction and Development; Laurence Gottlieb, Managing Director | Courtesy Robert Martin Company

“When all of the proposed solar projects are completed throughout Westchester County, it is estimated the installations will be capable of generating over 10 megawatts of clean energy, enough to power 1,700 homes,” says Frank.

RMC’s main focus is to battle environmental challenges like climate change. Robert Martin Company CEO Tim Jones discusses the challenges that they have faced throughout their journey.

“It’s an ambitious undertaking, but for the past 60 years, the company’s formula for success has been putting the needs of the community first, knowing that the financial success will follow” he says.

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Additionally, RMC has launched the installation of new interior and exterior light fixtures, powered by energy saving and cost-efficient LEDs. These fixtures are set to save property owner approximately $240,000 per year, roughly 1.2 megawatts of electricity.

The news comes just a few weeks after the launch of another sustainable energy program in Westchester: Governor Andrew Cuomo last month unveiled Westchester’s very first community solar project, located in Yorktown Heights. That installation includes more than 1,500 solar panels and Tesla Powerpack storage batteries, reducing power costs for over 150 New York City and Westchester County residences, as well as powering 12 Tesla vehicle charging stations.

Many companies are coming together to build a cleaner and more sustainable New York, as more steps are being taken towards solar and electric power sources. The state’s goal is to install 6 gigawatts of solar production by 2025 and 3 gigawatts of solar storage by 2030.

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