NYSERDA and EnterSolar Announce Completion of Largest State-Supported Solar Installation in Westchester County

Former President Clinton Joins Celebration for 2.7 Megawatt Peak System at Swiss Re Americas' Headquarters

June 16, 2017

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and EnterSolar today announced the completion of the largest state-supported solar installation in the Consolidated Edison service territory in Armonk, Westchester County. The 2.7-megawatt peak (MWp) solar installation at Swiss Re Americas’ headquarters will help New York meet Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard requiring 50 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2030.

Former President William Jefferson Clinton joined more than 300 Swiss Re employees and local officials to kick-off the celebration of the solar array, which is the largest in the Con Edison utility system.

The solar array is comprised of 7,720 solar panels installed across ten acres of previously unused land on the company’s North Americas headquarters campus. The 2.7 MWp is the maximum output possible for the solar array. On an annual basis, the project will generate over 3.6 million kilowatt hours, enough clean renewable electricity to power more than 375 homes in a year. The solar system will provide significant environmental benefits to both Swiss Re and its Westchester community, including the avoidance of more than 4.5 million pounds of carbon emissions per year.

John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, “This project serves as a model for other companies that want to incorporate renewable energy into their business operations. We congratulate Swiss Re and all of the partners involved for their commitment in advancing Governor Cuomo's ambitious energy goals that will create healthier communities across New York."

“This system represents the gold standard in a commitment to sustainable energy,” said Paul Ahern, president, EnterSolar. “We are proud to partner with Swiss Re to develop a system that will power nearly two-thirds of their energy needs, but also to help them demonstrate that commitment to their employees, their partners, their neighbors and the State. Marquis projects like this one highlight Swiss Re’s global commitment to the responsible utilization of our natural resources. All corporate citizens have an opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint, and unquestionably, Swiss Re is leading by example. This was a large scale, complex project and we are proud to partner with such a socially-minded global leader.”

The ground mounted system will generate more than 60 percent of the annual energy consumption of Swiss Re’s Armonk facility and represents the company’s significant commitment to renewable energy.

“Our mission as a company is to help make the world more resilient,” said Eric Smith, president and CEO of Swiss Re Americas. “Swiss Re is a founding member of the RE100 initiative, which strives to unite the world’s largest companies in a shared commitment to use 100% renewable power. The activation of this landmark project, and our willingness to help de-risk the renewable energy sector by insuring their projects across the world, underlines our commitment to sustainability."

The project was supported through NY-Sun, Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar and move the State closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. Since 2011, solar in New York State has increased nearly 800 percent and leveraged nearly $1.5 billion in private investments. There are more than 8,000 people engaged in solar jobs across New York.

“We are proud to recognize Swiss Re as a utility customer that is leading the way in its commitment to sustainability,” said Matthew Ketschke, Con Edison’s vice president, Distributed Resource Integration. “This project is an example of how one project can significantly advance our common goals of reducing carbon emissions and lowering utility bills. Through their commitment they are not only advancing their own goals, but supporting their Westchester neighbors as well.”

This announcement complements Governor Cuomo's leadership in establishing the U.S. Climate Alliance with California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., and Washington State Governor Jay Inslee. The three states formed the alliance in response to the federal government’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord. The alliance is convening U.S. states committed to achieving the U.S. goal of reducing emissions 26-28 percent from 2005 levels and meeting or exceeding the targets of the federal Clean Power Plan. Recently announced by New York, California and Washington State, the alliance now includes 13 members. With input from all participants, the U.S. Climate Alliance will also act as a forum to sustain and strengthen existing climate programs, promote the sharing of information and best practices, and implement new programs to reduce carbon emissions from all sectors of the economy.

About Reforming the Energy Vision

Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York's economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency and requiring 50 percent of the state's electricity needs be generated from renewable energy by 2030. Already, REV has driven a nearly 800 percent growth in the statewide solar market, enabled over 105,000 low-income households to permanently cut their energy bills with energy efficiency, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, installation and other clean-tech sectors. REV is ensuring New York State reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and achieves the internationally-recognized target of reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050. To learn more about REV, including the Governor's $5 billion investment in clean energy technology and innovation, please visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow us at @Rev4NY.

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