Brooklyn is having its moment in the sun as New Yorkers turn to solar power

The burough is a hotspot for recent solar power trend but still trails Queens and Staten Island
July 13, 2019 11:00AM

More and more homes across New York City are turning to solar power (Credit: iStock)

More and more homes across New York City are turning to solar power (Credit: iStock)

To paraphrase SunnyD, homeowners across New York City are unleashing the power of the sun.

New Yorkers are increasingly turning to solar power to lighten their carbon footprint. And while Brooklyn lags behind Queens and Staten Island, it’s catching up fast.

Over the last few years, there were some 3,100 solar panel installations in the borough, according to the New York Times.

In Park Slope, a neighborhood thick with brownstones, Brooklyn SolarWorks, a solar energy equipment company, completed 58 installations last year, up from 23 in 2017 and 13 installations in 2016. Prospect Heights and Clinton Hill, on the other hand, had 16 solar power systems installed so far this year after just 15 last year and 16 in 2017.

Queens, however, still shines brightest with more than 7,000 houses already using solar energy, the largest number among the five boroughs, according to the Times. Staten Island ranks second with nearly as many.

The solar energy gap between boroughs comes down to architecture. Manufacturers have designed most solar panels for sloped roofs, like many in Queens and Staten Island, since they gather the most light on an angle in this sun-starved part of the world. In Manhattan and Brooklyn, where buildings typically have flat roofs, panels can’t always collect enough energy.

Don’t despair, though, flat-roof residents: Brooklyn SolarWorks offers a canopy-style system with tilted solar panels that work on a flat roof. You’ll just have to get them past the Landmarks Preservation Commission, who, according to the Times, has nixed a few because it doesn’t much like having to see the canopies from the street. [NYT]—Mike Seemuth