Queens Officials Urge Solar Energy For New York Residents


Various Queens public officials spoke in Long Island City asking their colleagues across the state, such as Governor Andrew Cuomo, to power one million homes throughs solar energy.

The campaign behind the initiative, called The Million Solar Strong Campaign, seeks to power many homes, including 100,000 low-income households at the Long Island City Lansing, through solar power by 2023. To accomplish its vision, the organization’s plan is to ensure fair customer compensation, facilitate affordable financing for solar growth, and more.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside) stood alongside other environmental advocates in favor of the plan for New York State.

“New York can be a national leader in renewable energy and solar power is a great place to build our green future,” Gianaris said.

Thomas Grech, president and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, felt Queens County is ready for more solar energy with backing from private and public interests.

“As the largest geographic borough in NYC, Queens is ripe for the greater development of solar power,” he said.

Grech cited EmPower Solar as an example that shows the readiness of Queens for solar power. EmPowerSolar is a leading provider in solar and consistently voted as the best solar power company since 2003, according to the firm’s website.

City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Astoria, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Long Island City, Maspeth, Sunnyside, Woodside) said the organization’s plans were not just achievable, but also favorable for New Yorkers.

“We have a duty to our city and our planet to make clean energy like solar power more accessible,” Van Bramer said. “Investing in solar energy must be a key part of our strategy for economic innovation and sustainability in Queens moving forward. Million Solar Strong has a real and attainable goal of powering 100,000 low-income households with solar power. We can achieve our green energy future, but it takes investment today.”

City Councilmember Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, Jackson Heights, Woodside, East Elmhurst), chairperson of the Committee on Environmental Protection, believed renewable energy can replace fossil fuels as the latter is relied on less than before.

“Solar energy is a big part of that and needs a robust support system to make Queens a greener, cleaner place to live. In Astoria, we are in the process of installing more solar panels on schools as well as the Steinway Library, one of the most frequented in the Queens Library system. I look forward to seeing these efforts continue grow,” he said.