New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, among other state and local officials gathered on Sept. 13 for the official dedication of the new state of the art Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City. The Cornell Tech campus brings together faculty, business leaders, tech entrepreneurs, and students in a catalytic environment to produce visionary results grounded in significant needs that will reinvent the way we live in the digital age.
The campus features a major solar system installed on top of The Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Center, designed by Morphosis, and The Bridge, designed by WEISS/MANFREDI, that are now open on the Cornell Tech campus. The solar system was an integral design feature of both buildings, converging engineering requirements and architecture, and serves as one of the central elements of the 12-acre campus which is being hailed for its environmentally conscious and energy-efficient design.
The combined 850 kW system is the largest solar photovoltaic installation in Manhattan, and will provide a significant portion of the energy required to power The Bloomberg Center. The system is comprised of over 2,200 individual solar modules, and includes innovative solar racking, inverter and data monitoring technology. In addition to providing clean renewable onsite energy, the array on The Bloomberg Center also provides shade for cooling purposes.
“We are entering a new era for tech in New York, and the Cornell Tech campus is at the heart of it,” said Andrew Winters, Cornell Tech’s Director of Capital Projects. “The Bloomberg Center is our main academic hub on campus and, inspired by the Bloomberg model, we’re reinforcing our commitment to innovation and sustainability by pushing the boundaries of current energy efficiency practices and setting a new standard for building in New York.”
In addition to the solar systems, the campus is employing additional strategies for its aspiration to reach net-zero energy efficiency at The Bloomberg Center, including geothermal ground source heat pumps, an energy-efficient façade balancing the ratio between transparency and opaqueness to maximize building insulation and decrease energy demand, and smart building features monitoring lighting and plug load use.
“We are extremely proud to be a significant part of this marquee project which will have such a meaningful contribution to New York City’s infrastructure for generations to come,” said Peyton Boswell, Managing Director, EnterSolar. “The innovation that will be “powered” by this tech campus will have significant ramifications on New York’s entrepreneurial and sustainability communities and we could not be more honored to be part of “powering” that thinking.”
The Cornell Tech solar project was also supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) under the $1 billion NY-Sun initiative to advance the scale-up of solar generated electricity and move New York State closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. NY-Sun is one of the key elements of the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision framework, which includes the goal of 50 percent of the electricity generated in the State coming from renewable resources by 2030.