Westchester Square building goes solar

Anthony Coschigano of Mercury Solar Systems and Councilman Jimmy Vacca atop 55 Westchester Square at the installation of solar panels on Saturday, April 11. The panels will provide about 20% of the power for the building’s tenant. Photo by Patrick Rocchio

A building in Westchester Square will now sport solar panels providing energy to the tenants. The new installation is now operational and will greatly reduce the energy bill for 55 Westchester Square.

Councilman Jimmy Vacca joined work crews from Mercury Solar Systems for the installation of the solar panels that cover most of the roof of the building that houses a Walgreens and the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services.

Crews worked feverishly through the morning of Saturday, April 11 to install a system of interlocking sun-powered solar panels, tied to the roof with airplane cables. The thin panels will harness the sun’s rays and provide about 20% of the energy for the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, which occupies the entire second floor of the building.

“This is a $440,000 system, but it will be a net positive for the owner of the building,” said Anthony Coschigano of Mercury Solar Systems. “The owner will receive a $62,000 property tax credit from the city, after the Federal, State, and depreciation tax write-offs. The net cost to the customer is a positive $5,600 after tax incentives.”

The project makes sense for the pocketbooks of the owners. It also makes sense for the environment.

“From an environmental standpoint, having this system installed is like planting five acres of trees every year, recycling about one million soda cans a year, and not driving your car for 75,000 miles a year,” Coschigano said. “

Vacca said that the system that harnesses sunlight and then runs the power to an A.C. converter box for use in the building is a great way to fight rising energy costs.

Coschigano’s company has installed solar panels at St. Helena’s Church, St. Raymond’s Church, Milea Trucks in Hunts Point, as well as other locations around the Bronx.

“This will lessen the demand on the utility grid, which is good because the system in this area is antiquated and cannot sustain all the new development that is going on. If everyone had these panels on their roofs, we’d be in the clear.”

For more information about Mercury Solar Systems, contact them at (914) 637-9700.

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