Volume 78 / Number 12, August 20 - 26, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
At N.Y.U. co-gen plant groundbreaking, from left, Alan Gerson, John Sexton, Scott Stringer, Courant Institute Director Leslie Greengard, N.Y.U. Senior Vice President Lynne P. Brown, Co-gen Project Director Martin Kushner and N.Y.U. Senior Vice President Alison Leary.
Green light for N.Y.U. ‘green’ co-gen power plant
New York University broke ground on Aug. 12 at the Village site of its new, environmentally friendly co-generation plant in a ceremony attended by elected officials, local leaders and university representatives. The facility will be located underground on Mercer St. between W. Third and Fourth Sts.
Co-generation, also known as combined heat and power (C.H.P.), refers to the simultaneous production of electricity and thermal energy. A major component of N.Y.U.’s Green Action Plan, the new co-generation facility will lead to a 75 percent reduction of regulated pollutants and a decrease of more than 5,000 tons of greenhouse pollutants emitted annually. In addition, the facility will triple the university’s capacity to provide power to its buildings with cleaner energy and will remove these buildings from the overburdened local utility grid.
The project, which was endorsed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and by Community Board 2, is expected to be completed during summer 2009.
The area over the facility will be landscaped as a new open space. N.Y.U. will work with the Parks Department; a community advisory committee, or C.A.C., of local residents, community board members and local elected officials; and Mathews Nielsen, a landscape architecture firm chosen by the C.A.C. to collaborate on creating the open space. The C.A.C.’s work is expected to conclude in the fall when the proposed design will be reviewed by C.B. 2.
John Sexton, N.Y.U.’s president, said of the co-gen project: “It benefits the neighborhood by reducing the university’s dependence on the local electric grid. … And it benefits our local community, because it will be green aboveground and below: This spot where we stand today will ultimately be a lovely park designed in collaboration with neighborhood representatives and leaders.”
Congressmember Jerrold Nadler, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, State Senator Tom Duane and Councilmember Alan Gerson all hailed the project for reducing pollutants and setting an example of eco-friendly energy.
Said Gerson, “With this groundbreaking, N.Y.U. leads the city in a huge step toward true environmental sustainability.”
Brad Hoylman, C.B. 2 chairperson, also praised the co-gen project as “an important step forward in sustainability,” adding, “N.Y.U. has committed itself to working closely with the local community to design and create new open space in the area. We on C.B. 2 look forward to this and other neighborhood enhancements as a result of this project.”