Iconic Empire State building goes on 100% wind energy usage

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Electricity produced from the wind will now power all activities in New York’s iconic Empire State building, its owners – the Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT) has said.

The 102-storey building in midtown Manhattan has about 15,000 people working in it. The ESRT disclosed in a statement that it added to its industry leadership in sustainability with the purchase of wind electricity for its entire commercial portfolio.

According to it, a new three-year contract with Green Mountain Energy would now make it America’s largest 100% user of green power in real estate.

The building has reportedly included renewable energy in its energy usage since 2011 but has now gone fully on it. Also, its peak electricity use tops out at about 9.5 megawatts (MW).

“ESRT is the leader in sustainable operations with a viable example of how to scale carbon neutral technologies, strategies and policies to balance with an effective economic business case,” said Dana Robbins Schneider who is the director of energy, sustainability and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) at ESRT.

Schneider further stated that, “We have purchased renewable power from Green Mountain Energy for the World’s Most Famous Building, the Empire State Building, for a decade.

“We now expand that to all properties in New York State with an additional Direct Energy contract for our Connecticut properties. We continue to advance our commitment to solutions that reduce our environmental impact.

“Our tenants now work in carbon neutral offices and the investment community can recognize our leadership.”

ESRT equally noted that more than 10.1 million square-foot of its commercial portfolio is now 100% powered by renewable wind energy, adding that the three-year expansion will purchase more than 300 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable energy and avoid the production of 450 million pounds of carbon dioxide.

Mark Parsons, vice president and general manager of Green Mountain Energy also stated that, “At Green Mountain, we’re encouraged by the sustained and vocal advocacy from Empire State Realty Trust that continues to lead New York’s transition to renewable energy.

“As the longest-serving competitive green energy provider, our mission is to use the power of consumer choice to change the way power is made, and we are committed to helping New Yorkers reduce their carbon footprint,” Parsons added.

According to the statement, Green Mountain Energy was awarded the electricity contract after a bid process that involved multiple electricity providers and was facilitated by 5, an award-winning energy advisory firm that serves clients throughout North America.

Together, 5 and Green Mountain reportedly worked to create a custom rate structure for ESRT’s New York properties that leveraged favorable market conditions for both energy and capacity, and which is expected to result in more than $800,000 in savings to ESRT for the first year of the contract. 

On the back of this, Taylor Duncan, vice president of 5 said, “We were excited to advise ESRT on the electricity procurement strategy for the Empire State Building. As our team continued to help ESRT, we were able to expand our impact to include powering the entire ESRT portfolio throughout New York and Connecticut with renewable wind electricity.”

The Empire State Building was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its use of green power as an effective way to reduce the environmental impacts of electricity consumption. The iconic landmark also underwent a groundbreaking energy and efficiency retrofit, which began over 10 years ago as part of the $550 million Empire State ReBuilding restoration program and has already reportedly delivered a 40% reduction in energy use and emissions.

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