Con Edison is installing its first “green roof” at its Learning Center training and conference facility in Long Island City, where more than 21,000 plants will occupy over a quarter acre of the center’s rooftop.
The green roof is expected to save up to 30 percent of the center’s peak-cooling costs. The plants absorb heat and keep the building cooler; reducing the need for air conditioning.
The company also anticipates the green roof will retain 30 percent to 70 percent of storm water runoff, releasing water slowly into the drainage system to avoid overwhelming the city’s sewer systems.
As a joint effort with Columbia University’s Center for Climate Systems Research, the benefits of the green roof will be evaluated by measuring energy savings, roof surface temperatures, and air quality improvements.
Con Edison recently bought excess solar energy from C.W. Brown Inc., the first business in New York state to take advantage of a bill which allows companies to sell their renewable energy back to their utility company.
In June, the company also increased the use of biodiesel fuel in its truck fleet and is replacing 50 of its smaller vehicles with hybrids this year.