Continuing the city's environmental kick, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday that City Hall is planning to use solar power and cleaner-burning heating oil in municipal buildings.
The initiatives are part of Bloomberg's recently announced goal to reduce the city's carbon emissions total by 30 percent within the next 23 years. To get there, he has been championing an array of new programs, including a multiyear plan to replace the city's taxis with hybrid vehicles and a scheme to charge drivers fees to enter the most congested parts of Manhattan.
More simple things, like replacing the light bulbs in City Hall with energy-efficient models, have also been done.
On Monday, Bloomberg said the city will issue a request for proposals for a pilot program to install solar panels on city-owned buildings in hopes of generating 2 megawatts of solar capacity — offsetting about 320 tons of emissions per year, equal to taking more than 50 U.S. cars per year off the streets. The city will not pay for the installation but will buy electricity from the provider.
Also, by next summer, city buildings will be using a biodiesel blend for heating oil.
The renewable fuel, made from vegetable or animal fats, emits far less soot than standard heating oil.
City Councilman David Yassky said Monday he is planning to introduce legislation that would gradually phase in a biodiesel blend for home heating oil.
The law would introduce a 5 percent biodiesel blend in 2009 with a goal of a 20 percent blend mandated by 2013.