In this week's Newsletter: Inside NY's distributed energy 5-year plan, the 11 worst invasive species in NYS, Con Ed volunteers come to spruce up the park and much more!
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Inside NY's 5 Year Distributed Energy Plan

With ambitious goals to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy within the next few decades, big changes are taking place in energy markets- changes that will affect the way we buy, sell and produce energy, and especially electricity. The discussions on how to get there are referred to as "Reforming the Energy Vision", and Solar One has been involved in these discussions through our community and shared solar work, as well as the Clean Energy Connections panel discussion series.

Now the utilities are starting to respond with five year plans to create more distributed energy. The biggest of these is ConEdison’s plan, which focuses on addressing rapid growth throughout Queens & Brooklyn.

Distributed energy refers to the distribution of producers using solar panels, wind turbines and potentially other forms of small, non-centrally located forms of renewable energy. Distributed energy is good news for consumers and communities, because it makes them less susceptible to grid overload, and keeps more electricity flowing to customers in the event of a peak usage blackout, or transformer or other equipment malfunctions that can leave people without power for days or sometimes even weeks!

Want to learn more? Come to Greentech Media's conference on the Reforming the Energy Vision plan on September 27th and 28th, 2016. Tickets are available here.

The 11 Worst Invasive Species in NY

Invasive species are plants and animals, generally non-native, which are introduced to an ecosystem, either by design or by accident, and then proceed to wreak havoc with that ecosystem. Sometimes an species is introduced to try and solve an environmental issue, like kudzu, a Japanese vine that was introduced in the Southeastern United States to prevent soil erosion. Unfortunately, the high clay content of Southern soil and the warm humid weather is exactly what kudzu loves, and now it needs to be cut back constantly or it just takes over, growing over railroad tracks, abandoned vehicles and even building structures. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease!

In New York, kudzu isn't a problem, but we have plenty of our own to worry about. Some of them are really disgusting (didymo, also known as "rock snot") while others (Japanese knotweed, pictured above) are pretty but extremely difficult to get rid of once it's established. And invasives aren't just plants or animals in the wrong place. Lacking natural controls or predators, these species will quickly consume resources and reduce, if not decimate, competing native species.

Check out this list of the 11 worst invasives in New York, and if you encounter one of these Public Enemies in the wild, let a park ranger or DEC agent know. DEC also has a list of steps you can take to reduce the spread of invasives.

Con Edison Volunteers Do a Great Job in Stuy Cove Park

On a recent Saturday, volunteers from Con Edison came to Stuyvesant Cove to help out in the park. Despite the heat, the team tackled weeding, planting, cutting back overgrown plants and worked hard to begin clearing an area where one particularly troublesome weed, field bindweed, had taken over. The younger members of the Con Ed team helped in Stuy Cove’s new nursery area, potting up plants that had been dug up from other areas in the park because they had spread too aggressively.

Up until recently, Stuyvesant Cove Park has functioned within the passive recreation model, and many patrons enjoy fishing, jogging, sunbathing and sitting by the water. People are prohibited from being in the garden beds unless they are part of a volunteer group. While most of the park will remain such a space, there is one garden bed that is being transitioned into an experiential space. This is where students young and old can explore and interact with the native plants and insects of the park in a hands-on way. In helping to dig out the invasive species in this area to clear some space for this re-design, as well as testing out the potting station and contributing to the nursery, our Con Ed volunteers helped to get us a little closer to this goal, not to mention all the work accomplished elsewhere in the park.

With only three full-time staff maintaining Stuy Cove’s 1.9 acres, we very much value our volunteers and rely on them a great deal to help us keep the park the beautiful space it is. Volunteer events such as this also provide great opportunities to bring our community together, and we were so glad to have the chance to partner with Con Edison, our neighbors to the South. We look forward to hosting them again in the fall for their Department Day of Service.

Upcoming Events at Solar 1

Stuyvesant Cove Park Association Presents Folk Dancing
Solar 1/Stuyvesant Cove Park, 23rd Street & the East River, 6:30pm, free

Rooftop Films & LOFT Present the LOL Movie Series: Pretty in Pink
Solar 1/Stuyvesant Cove Park, 23rd Street & the East River, doors at 7:45pm/film at 9, free with RSVP to Rooftop Films (first come, first served- RSVP does not guarantee admission)

CookoutNYC Presents Ciderfeast
Solar 1/Stuyvesant Cove Park, 23rd Street & the East River, 4pm, $45+

Upcoming Events at Solar One

CookoutNYC Presents Ciderfeast Solar 1/Stuyvesant Cove Park, 23rd Street & the East River, 4pm, $45+

Rooftop Films & LOFT Present the LOL Movie Series: My Blind Brother
Solar 1/Stuyvesant Cove Park, 23rd Street & the East River, doors at 7:45pm/film at 9, free with RSVP to Rooftop Films (first come, first served- RSVP does not guarantee admission)

Other Events

Sustainable Career Tracks - Corporate Social Responsibility
Grohe America, 160 5th Avenue, 4th Floor, between W. 20th & W. 21st Sts, Manhattan, 6:30-8pm, $5 general admission/$3 students

Fishing Clinic at 10th Street
East River Promenade at 10th Street, Manhattan, 11am-1pm, free

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