CUNY’s Center for Sustainable Energy & the U.S. Department of Energy Kickoff the First Solar Cities Summit Conference

Bronx , NY – New York’s first Solar Summit was convened today to develop a new city energy strategy to focus on concerns about energy security, climate change, economic development and environmental justice.

The Summit Conference was sponsored jointly by CUNY’s Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) at Bronx Community College, West 181 st Street & University Avenue, and the U. S. Department of Energy. Some 400 of New York City’s renewable energy policy makers and stakeholders gathered in a packed auditorium at the American Museum of Natural History.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy Steven G. Chalk praised conference participants yesterday, saying: “By identifying underlying challenges and committing to realizing the benefits of solar, New York is taking a major step towards making solar energy available and affordable to its citizens.” CSE, which is part of The City University of New York, has recently been designated as the action arm partner by the City of New York in fulfillment of its responsibilities under the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Cities Program.

The Director of New York City’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability Rohit T. Aggarwala said, “Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC initiative challenges New York to provide cleaner, more reliable power for every New Yorker while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving the cleanest air of any major city in the nation. As part of the comprehensive plan to achieve these goals, the City will foster the solar industry in NYC by reducing installation barriers, expanding educational opportunities, and spurring the market through property tax abatement and installations on city buildings.”

Tria Case , the Executive Director of CSE, says a recent study shows that there is enough commercial and residential roof space to host as much as 15,000 megawatts of photovoltaic installations within New York City limits. “CSE has already begun to create a sustainable energy workforce by setting up photovoltaic installation training courses on multiple campuses to help the city meet their new solar goals. Solar is New York City’s largest untapped available resource.”

Case credited Congressman Jose Serrano and the President of Bronx Community College Dr. Carolyn G. Williams for having the foresight to plan for a sustainable future by establishing the Center in 2003. “Working together across CUNY’s 23 campuses the vision is now a reality; preparing students for careers in the emerging fields of renewable energy and helping New York City convert to secure sustainable energy. ”

The event was hosted by the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History. Sponsors included: the FJC Foundation; Sun Edison; the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority; altPOWER, Inc.; Bronx Initiative for Energy and the Environment; the New York Power Authority; Keyspan, Inc.; Johnson Controls, Inc.; and Con Edison Solutions.

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Bronx Community College (BCC) of The City University of New York celebrates its 50th anniversary of service to students in New York City in 2007. Over the past five years, enrollment has increased 20 per cent to an 8,900 student body, reflecting the reliance of the surrounding communities on it as a pathway to a better life.

BCC students from over 109 nations receive an excellent preparation to go on to four—year colleges or to advance into successful vocational careers. Programs offered at BCC include Digital Arts, Computer Information Systems, Education Associate, Nursing, Nuclear Medicine Technology, RadiologicTechnology, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology, Electronic Engineering Technology, Marketing, Accounting, Human Services, Media Technology and Paralegal Studies.

The College is home to initiatives not commonly associated with two—year institutions, such as the Center for Sustainable Energy, which promotes the use of renewable and efficient energy technologies in urban communities. The National Center for Educational Alliances (NCEA) is currently collaborating with South African Further Education and Training Colleges and universities to create linkages between these institutions. NCEA also coordinates the College’s international initiatives and the annual International Education Week

The Center has also facilitated a campus—wide effort to create BCC’s Center for Tolerance and Understanding. The Center for Teaching Excellence offers faculty development to promote student achievement and to stimulate discussions to keep the teaching and learning process vital and dynamic.
Take a look at BCC’s website at