Sept. 23, 2019 By Allie Griffin
As Climate Week kicked off Monday in New York City, Council Member Costa Constantinides announced that P.S. 171 in Astoria is getting more than 500 new solar panels installed on its rooftop.
The 516 panels will generate more than half of the school’s annual energy consumption and drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is the first of six schools within Council District 22 to receive solar panels within the next two years.
Installation of the panels across 9,000 square feet of rooftop space at P.S. 171 began last month and is expected to wrap up in December. The panels will begin powering the elementary school, located at 14-14 29th Avenue, by spring 2020 and will last more than 20 years.
As a result, the school will emit 50 metric tons of CO2 less each year — the equivalent of avoiding the burning of almost 55,000 pounds of coal. A panel inside the building will reveal how much energy the solar panels have generated, as well as the amount of greenhouse gas emission spared.
Council Member Constantinides secured funding for the project in partnership with Speaker Corey Johnson. It’s part of a commitment to make western Queens schools run on clean affordable power.
“Western Queens will be a cleaner, greener place thanks because of the partnerships we formed to make schools such as P.S. 171 more energy efficient,” said Council Member Constantinides, who is also Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection. “With half of this school’s energy coming from these panels, we can show students how renewable power directly impacts their lives while keeping costs down.”
Education on the solar technology, along with climate science, sustainability and renewable energy will be incorporated into the classroom as well.
“P.S. 171 is honored to be the first recipient of solar panels due to the generosity of Councilman Constantinides,” said Lisa Stone, Principal of P.S. 171.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to engage the entire Astoria community in learning about solar energy and its benefits,” Stone continued. “We will enhance our students’ learning of clean energy by providing this real world application to their Science knowledge.”