Big philanthropy could fuel the Green New Deal—if it learns to listen

In late 2019, the first cooperatively owned solar installation will go live in New York City. The 80,000-square-foot array sits atop the roof of an industrial building at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. Nearby residents in the low-income Sunset Park neighborhood can pay a subscription fee to access clean energy from the installation, and in exchange receive credits that lower their monthly bills.

The Brooklyn Army Terminal project was careful to build in both environmental and equitable returns to residents of Sunset Park. The solar array can provide enough clean energy for 200 households or businesses, while saving those cash-strapped New Yorkers about $1 million in offset power costs over then next 25 years. In monthly terms, that’s about a 20% reduction per bill.