Krasdale Foods, which has been in the Bronx for more than five decades, broke ground last week on the largest solar project in the borough to date.
On Sept. 30, Krasdale, a large-scale grocery distributor, held a special launch event onsite at its Hunts Point warehouse, located at 400 Food Center Drive, where employees, elected officials and members of the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) were all in attendance.
The project will generate more than 3 million kilowatts of solar electricity offsetting 5 million pounds of carbon dioxide.
“I’m thrilled to finally be together to commemorate the start of this landmark installation that will be the largest in the Bronx and one of the largest in the five boroughs,” said Gus Lebiak, president and COO of Krasdale Foods.
Lebiak said this project did not happen overnight, nor was it a one-man job. Krasdale worked with the city EDC, which owns the Hunts Point Distribution Center, and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and City Councilman Rafael Salamanca, both Democrats.
Rachel Loeb, president and CEO of EDC, told the Bronx Times she hopes this project will spur more solar panel initiatives throughout the borough. According to Loeb, tenants often come to the EDC asking how they can be good partners. After speaking with Lebiak and the staff at Krasdale, she realized a solar panel project would not only help Krasdale, but the Bronx community.
In fact, the panels will reduce electric bills for 300 families in the Hunts Point section.
“There’s no economic health without climate health,” she said. “It’s not just about providing renewable energy here, but for all New Yorkers. We’re always looking for properties to reduce carbon emissions with partners like Krasdale.”
Diaz, who has been an elected official for 26 years and in two months will be hanging up his spurs, told the attendees how a project like this is a game changer. He praised Krasdale and the EDC for making this momentous occasion happen. As the Bronx is the least healthy county in New York State and is known for high asthma rates, hypertension, obesity and diabetes, Diaz hopes these solar panels will help reduce emissions, help Bronxites breathe easier and make the Bronx more affordable. It’s a step in the right direction and other companies must follow suit, he said.
“To have Krasdale who has been here for so long make this announcement about solar panels it warms my heart,” he added. “I hope today is not just about an announcement and a groundbreaking, but I hope it becomes contagious.”
An integral part of the Hunts Point community, @BuyKrasdale is committing to a more energy efficient NYC. Installing more than 6500 solar panels on their roof – the most in the BX – 300+ households in HP will be able to tap into no-cost energy created from Krasdale’s panels. pic.twitter.com/sRikCnNwlb
— Rafael Salamanca, Jr (@Salamancajr80) October 1, 2021
Reach Jason Cohen at [email protected] or (718) 260-4598. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter @bronxtimes and Facebook @bronxtimes.