In this week's Newsletter: City Council visits the S1 Workforce Lab, the global solar energy revolution is coming, OneNYC, Mayor De Blasio's new sustainability plan, and much more!
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City Council Visits the S1 Workforce Training Lab

“We’re very committed to creating jobs,” City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito declared to 26 green job trainees at Solar One’s Workforce Training Lab on Monday. She was joined by the City Council Majority Leader, Jimmy Van Bramer, and Council Member Donovan Richards, Chair, Committee on Environmental Protection. 

“We must all do our part to make New York a more sustainable City. The Solar One Workforce training program provides needed green job training skills to New Yorkers, and I’m proud to support this important initiative,” the Speaker told our trainees as she toured our lab in Long Island City. 

“Our program offers courses in green building operations and maintenance, energy auditing and solar installation. Since it began five years ago, it has trained close to 2,000 chronically un/underemployed individuals, as well as employed building managers, improving their careers, and even turning some of their lives around,” Chris Collins, Solar One Executive Director, told our city representatives. 

The tour ended with a demonstration of how to install solar panels on a roof by four of Solar One’s Workforce trainees, who through their outstanding performance in the program, have been selected for six week internships with OnForce Solar, a New York City based solar installer. These internships can lead to what the Council Members noted are well-paying jobs and a new career. 

The interns thanked the Solar One staff and Council Members for “giving us this opportunity” and instructed our representatives on how a solar panel inverter converts direct current to alternating current, which is then used to charge a battery. 

Finally, the Speaker got the chance to see solar in action, when the interns asked her to flip a big red switch to light up a large sculpture of the Solar One logo they created, wrapped in LED Christmas lights. 

“One, two, three!” the Speaker shouted and flipped the switch. 

When the Solar One logo lit up with blinking white lights everyone instantly burst into applause.

Get Ready for a Global Solar-Powered Energy Revolution

For absolute proof that solar power is the future, check out this graph from the Earth Policy Institute, which shows the trajectory of solar world-wide over the past 40 years.

As the price of panels has plummeted, the capacity of solar installations has grown exponentially. In fact, solar power use has increased 53 times since 2006.

What this really means is that this is just the beginning. By the time solar has phased out most other generating strategies, it will be so ubiquitous that people won’t even quite realize what’s happened. But the effects will be as transformative as the switch from kerosene lamps to the original power grid more than 100 years ago.

To read more and to see more charts about solar’s remarkable scaling and how it will impact the future, check out this article from Treehugger.

One New York: Mayor De Blasio's New Environmental Plan for New York

In 2007 Mayor Bloomberg presented the city with its very first sustainability vision, PlaNYC. Back then, before Sandy and the People's Climate March, it was extremely forward-thinking. In 2011, the plan was amended to include aspects of city life that hadn't made it into the original version, like waste management. Proposed changes were projected to be underway by 2030.

Now four more years have passed, and resiliency and climate change are more important than ever. So yesterday Mayor De Blasio unveiled his own updated version of the plan, now known as One New York. And unsurprisingly, it embraces not only sustainability initiatives, but also issues of affordability, inequality and environmental justice.

For some early analyses of the plan, please check out this article from Capital New York, and this one from City Limits. Here's hoping that this "sweeping vision" that "casts a wide net" will more forward quickly and smoothly!

Upcoming Events at Solar 1

Stay tuned for more spring events coming up soon!

Other Events

New York City Green Festival
Javits Convention Center, 655 West 34th Street bet 11th & 12th Aves, Manhattan, 12-6pm Friday-Sunday, $12+, $5 discount available for students/seniors

Spring E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center (Flatbush)
Flatbush Food Coop, Cortelyou Road bet Rugby & Marlborough Rds, Brooklyn, 10am-4pm, free
For a list of accepted electronics, click here.

Spring E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center (University Heights)
1665 Andrews Avenue South bet 175th & 176th Sts, Bronx, 10am-4pm, free
For a list of accepted electronics, click here.

Spring E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center (Park Slope)
Fifth Avenue bet 3rd & 4th Sts, Brooklyn, 10am-4pm, free
For a list of accepted electronics, click here.

United for Action Monthly Meeting
The Nation, 8th Floor Conference Room, 33 Irving Place near 15th St, Manhattan, 6:45-9pm, free

God's World and Climate Change
Old First Reformed Church, 729 Carroll Street bet 6th & 7th Aves, Brooklyn, 6:30-8pm, free

CHP Power Webinar
Online, 1:30-2:30pm, free

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