Solar + Storage Snags: Challenges to NYC’s Climate Goals

Fall 2021 Series

November 17, 2021 7–8 pm OnlineWatch on YouTube

Speaker BiosResources

What must change so we can quickly bring solar energy and battery storage to our neighborhoods? New York City has ambitious renewable energy goals, but city and state regulations stand in the way. Our speakers will explain these obstacles and how we can all get involved in removing them. This event is a collaboration of 350Brooklyn, Brooklyn Public Library, and Solar One, a non-profit education, training and technical assistance organization that is a part of the Barrio Solar campaign to bring affordable solar power to working families in Brooklyn.


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.

Claudia Villar-Leeman is an Energy Policy Advisor at the NYC Mayor’s Offices of Climate, Sustainability and Resiliency. There, she contributes to the City’s goal to achieve an energy system that is clean, affordable for residents, and resilient to the intensifying impacts of climate change. Claudia’s broad portfolio includes coordinating the development of the City’s first Long Term Energy Plan as well as leading the Offices’ efforts to promote energy storage development citywide. Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Claudia taught biology and climate policy at a high school in the Dominican Republic, and later joined the team at the Climate Museum, the first museum in the U.S. dedicated to climate change. Claudia currently serves on the board of Young Professionals in Energy — NYC, where she designed and launched the organization’s first clean energy mentorship program. She was selected as a 2021 New York Fellow at the Clean Energy Leadership Institute. Claudia holds an M.A. in Climate & Society from Columbia University and a B.A. in Biology from Bowdoin College.

A lifelong resident of Windsor Terrace and Kensington, Robert Carroll represents the 44th District in the New York State Assembly. Carroll attended P.S. 230 and graduated from Xaverian High School, SUNY Binghamton (where he studied History and Theatre) and New York Law School. Before being elected to the Assembly he was a practicing attorney specializing in contract law, election law, trusts and estates, and real estate law. Carroll also did work in non-profit theatre where he worked as a writer and actor, and was the Development Director and fundraiser for an independent theatre company in Manhattan. A play he wrote (The Believers) was produced on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in the Fall of 2014. Carroll served on Community Board 7, where he chaired multiple committees, and is a member of many community organizations like the Windsor Terrace Food Coop and the Park Slope Civic Council. Carroll sponsored Bill No. A07343, which provides an energy storage property tax abatement for New York City.

Stephan Roundtree is a lawyer who currently serves as Northeast Director for Vote Solar, the highly effective solar advocacy organization that Solar One worked closely with to help pass New York State’s first net metering law, allowing solar installation owners to sell excess power back to Con Edison. With degrees from Boston College, the Vermont Law School and the Northeastern University School of Law, Stephan brings a passion for social and environmental justice along with extensive technical knowledge gained through his previous work with Green Mountain Energy, the American International Group (AIG) and Solar One’s long-term partners WEACT for Environmental Justice.

Moderator Chloe Holden is an energy storage research analyst at the market research firm Wood Mackenzie. Her research covers U.S. residential, commercial, and community-scale battery storage. She lives in Brooklyn and is an enthusiastic Brooklyn Public Library patron. Chloe holds a degree in Political Science from Wesleyan University.


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Countering the climate crisis requires bold action, and that includes switching New Yorkers from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, like solar, as quickly as possible. Many Brooklynites would like to make the switch to solar energy but lack the financial resources and need help navigating the process. In addition, outdated state and city regulations are blocking the path to New York City’s solar future.

Here are some resources to help make sense of it all.

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.