The former Cottage Place Gardens housing projects has been undergoing a massive transformation into what will eventually be over 400 units of brand-new affordable housing known as The Ridgeway. The multi-building development near Ashburton and Warburton Avenues in downtown Yonkers will now also be home to 345 solar panels installed on its rooftops.
Renewable energy has been a major focus statewide in recent years. Presently, energy generation in the state is comprised 54% of nuclear and renewables like hydroelectric, wind, and solar. The State’s goal is 100% renewable by the year 2040. Driving pressure for this is Governor Kathy Hochul‘s proposal that all new construction be electric-only by 2027. To fund these and other mandates, the Green Jobs Bond Act was proposed and adopted by voter referendum in 2022.
The Yonkers Housing Authority and the The Ridgeway’s developer, The Community Builders, have been working on the additional of solar power generation since 2020 when the City began to allow Community Solar projects.
“Sustainability is a top priority of my administration. I applaud the Yonkers Housing Authority and The Community Builders for developing this important and innovative Community Solar program. Not only is it helping to reduce our carbon footprint it is also providing energy cost savings for residents. It’s a win-win for our city.”Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano
The new solar panel arrays will produce an estimated 140 kilowatts of electricity. The electricity generated from these panels does not exclusively power the buildings themselves. Rather, in partnership with Sunwealth Power, an energy credit system is in place to distribute power and offset costs in what is known as a Community Solar program.
Under this program, the building owners estimate a savings of $229,000 over the 25 year warranty of the panels. The savings to the residents of these buildings however is not as impressive. Only 19 units will be able to join on a no-cost first come, first served basis. Through credits from ConEd, they will see their energy bill lowered by roughly $200 annually.
The Ridgeway development has six total phases with many remaining to be built that will see continued utilization of solar panels. Over 500 more panels are planned to be installed on these new buildings along Warburton Avenue.