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Published on February 21st, 2013 | by James Ayre


Daylight Harvesting In New York City Could Save 160 Megawatts

February 21st, 2013 by  

New York City could benefit substantially from the incorporation of daylight harvesting systems into its most easily-retrofittable office buildings, reducing peak electricity demand by up to 160 megawatts, according to a recent study by Green Light New York. The use of daylight to cut back on electricity usage, in appropriate buildings, would save tenants and building owners in the city an estimated $70 million dollars annually.


Greentech Media’s Katherine Tweed writes:

“New York City has the largest concentration of office space in the U.S. by far, about 542 million square feet, compared to 110 million square feet in Chicago. New York also has an advantage in that nearly half of the current office space was built prior to 1950, when buildings were still largely dependent on daylight and natural ventilation, according to the report.”

A large proportion of these older buildings, and also the newer ones built after 1980, could easily incorporate daylight harvesting, with the total easily retrofitted office space area being about 152 million square feet.

“It also helps that the city’s utility, Con Ed, could be increasing its rebate offerings for LED lights, which are inherently controllable and work well with daylighting systems,” Tweed adds.


While there are many benefits to daylight harvesting in New York City, perhaps the most beneficial is the effect that it would have on peak electricity demand during the summer, working to greatly cut down on energy usage then.

Green Light New York is currently developing several proof-of-concept pilot projects in New York that are expected to run through 2014. These should serve to demonstrate the buildings that will benefit the most through the adoption of daylight harvesting.

Image Credits: Green Light New York 
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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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