A restaurant supply company in the Bronx has installed the largest solar array in New York City, and its power production is cooking.
The 4,760 high-efficiency panels at Jetro Cash and Carry’s Restaurant Depot facility provide 1.56 mW of electricity for refrigeration, freezers, and other equipment.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) provided funding toward the Jetro project under the NY-Sun program, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s initiative to increase the amount of solar generation in the state.
With government incentives, tax breaks, depreciation, and energy savings, Jetro expects to get a return on investment in about three years.
When the panels produce more power than the building needs, Jetro sends excess power to the grid, selling it back to utility Con Edison for distribution to other customers.
Smart grid technology at the Jetro site makes this two-way power flow possible. The network required adjustments in order for the grid to accept a large amount of power flowing back into it. This technology can be applied to other large solar installations and could lead to a rise in the region’s solar generation.
“That will mean cleaner air and a more reliable and diverse power supply,” says Margarett Jolly, director of research and development for Con Edison.