IBM Teams Up with CUNY To Develop Solar Power Capability in New York City

IBM has teamed up with CUNY Ventures, a City University of New York (CUNY) Economic Development Corporation entity, to help New York City to become a leader in urban solar energy market analysis and sustainability. The goal is to promote solar power through better analysis and understanding of key solar market indicators than can make solar system development more cost competitive.

At the core of the project is IBM’s Intelligent Operations Center (IOC) for Smarter Cities, an analytics-based approach that will help New York City monitor and analyze solar production and capacity through a virtual control room that will provide a dashboard view of key indicators. The collaboration is part of ‘Solar Market Analytics, Roadmapping, and Tracking NY’ (SMART NY), an innovative project partially supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) ‘Rooftop Solar Challenge’, which is part of the DOE SunShot Initiative.

With IBM's IOC software, CUNY Ventures will access and analyze data from the NYC Solar Portal, an inter-agency permitting and tracking solution developed by Procemx; data systems in solar empowerment zones; and the NYC Solar Map, putting in place a long-term solution designed to drive down the costs of solar deployment. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the NYC Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability, Consolidated Edison, the NYC Department of Buildings and the New York City Economic Development Corporation are the five state and city entities that will initially utilize the solar market analytics.

With IBM's help, CUNY Ventures plans to develop NYC into a solar energy hub that offers analysis of key solar market performance indicators, providing a model to other cities across New York State, North America and the world. CUNY Ventures aims to create a sustainable model that can incorporate additional data and provide analytics to help city leaders and utility planners integrate other forms of renewable energy and better manage city operations, leading to efficiencies in areas such as water, transportation and emergency response.

IDC Government Insights estimates that the growing availability of intelligent technology solutions will accelerate global investment in smart city technologies to $40.9 billion in 2012. With the IBM technology, CUNY Ventures will be able to fine-tune current resource usage and quickly identify barriers. Upon successful completion in year one, plans are in place to expand this effort to other major jurisdictions in New York State with a goal of creating standards and streamlining the permits process.

Image credit: IBM