Brooklyn’s Battery Breakthrough: How Four Branch Libraries are Charging Ahead

Fall 2021 Series

December 1, 2021 7–8 pm OnlineWatch on YouTube

Speaker BiosResources

Take a virtual tour of NYC’s first-ever solar plus energy storage systems, housed at four Brooklyn Public Library branches that were hit hard by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Even when extreme weather knocks out the electrical grid, Brooklynites will be able to charge phones and other devices at these four branches. This event is a collaboration of 350Brooklyn, Brooklyn Public Library, and Solar One, a non-profit education, training and technical assistance organization, which is installing the solar plus battery systems. Learn about the challenges and progress as New York City and Brooklyn Public Library expand energy efficiency, renewable, and energy storage in their facilities.


Angelica Ramdhari (she/her) is the Director of Resilient Solar at Solar One, where she focuses on the deployment of projects in the high-barrier NYC energy storage market. Her experience includes implementing carbon offset programs for the University of Florida, developing energy efficiency strategies for affordable housing in Gainesville, managing both private and non-profit solar energy projects in NYC, and now directing the design and installation of several solar + storage projects in Brooklyn and the Bronx. She is a native New Yorker who appreciates hyperlocal civic engagement in her community, where she co-chairs the Environmental Protection Committee at Brooklyn Community Board 6 and facilitates Participatory Budgeting for District 39.

Dillon Buchberg is the Energy Manager for Brooklyn Public Library, where he helps BPL reach its energy goals and meet the city’s energy reduction goals. He is a Certified Energy Manager and has worked as an energy consultant with PSEG Long Island’s Energy Efficiency programs. He’s now working on retrofitting BPL’s 60 branches with efficient lighting, HVAC equipment, and chillers, and is exploring renewable energy opportunities such as solar photovoltaic systems.

Hamid Lekic is the Deputy Director for Clean Energy at the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services Division of Energy Management. Hamid oversees the implementation of clean energy projects on public facilities, including advancing the City’s goal of installing 100 MW of solar PV by the end of 2025.

Ning Gao is a researcher who focuses on renewable energy technologies, including the development of high-performing rechargeable lithium batteries and CO2 reduction through electrolysis cells at the Idaho National Laboratory. In early 2021, Ning joined CUNY and shas been working with FDNY to deploy energy storage systems across the city, increasing New York City’s energy resilience while maintaining public safety.


Bringing Solar Home

If you’re interested in solar energy for your home, these groups can get you started.

For homeowners who want to install solar panels

Barrio Solar’s mission is to bring affordable solar power to all working families in Brooklyn. Through Barrio Solar, participating homeowners are eligible for free solar feasibility studies and discounted solar prices through a purchasing group. Depending on income and location, some homeowners will also qualify for a $3,500 incentive.

Register for a neighborhood-specific Barrio Solar session here.

For renters and those whose buildings aren’t ideal for solar

If you’re a renter or don’t have ideal conditions to install solar panels on your roof, you can still “bring solar home” by signing up for community solar. Apartment-dwellers, homeowners and small businesses can share a single solar energy system, cutting energy costs and contributing to a healthier planet through solar credits.

Learn more about community solar in New York City, how to save money with community solar, and how you can join a community solar project with Solar One’s Community Solar Info Hub.

Challenges to NYC’s Climate Goals

New York City has ambitious renewable energy goals, but city and state regulations create hurdles.

Removing the Barriers: Call to Action

Call Governor Hochul and your state legislators telling them to remove regulatory barriers to expanding solar energy in New York. You can use the script here to call the governor at 518-474-8390.

Use these links to find contact information

Brooklyn’s Battery Breakthrough: Solar + Battery Storage

Four Brooklyn Public Library branches that were badly damaged by Superstorm Sandy will now feature solar panels plus New York City’s first-ever large-scale battery storage. Even when extreme weather knocks out the electric grid, Brooklynites will be able to charge phones and other devices at these four branches.