GE Energy has supplied 363 roof-mounted solar panels at the top of 45 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City that will help generate electricity for the first solar powered Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. The Christmas tree is decorated with 30,000 new energy-efficient LED lights, on five miles of wire, which will help illuminate Rockefeller Center with a cleaner source of holiday power.
The Rockefeller Center solar installation (celebrated by top officials on Top of the Rock) is the largest privately owned solar energy generation station in Manhattan and the GE manufactured panels, installed by Tishman Speyer, through altPOWER, will help reduce the building’s electricity consumption. The panels will create a 70-kilowatt DC generation station that will be tied to the Rockefeller Center grid through ConEdison.
“GE is proud that our technology is a part of the energy conservation initiatives for Rockefeller Center and that we can be a part of this historic tree lighting,” said Victor Abate, vice president – renewables for GE Energy. “Solar energy will play an important role in the future of the global energy market and is an integral part of our renewables portfolio.”
The Christmas tree will be lit at an official ceremony, traditionally viewed live by thousands of spectators, and shown as part of an NBC special to be televised on Wednesday, November 28 between 7-9 p.m. EST.
Solar power is among the renewable energy technologies that play a key role in ecomagination, GE’s corporate-wide initiative to address challenges such as the need for cleaner, more efficient sources of energy, reduced emissions and abundant sources of clean water. Under ecomagination, which was launched in May of 2005, GE will invest $1.5 billion annually in research in cleaner technologies by 2010, up from $700 million in 2004.
Spectators can view the lighted Rockefeller Center Christmas tree each day from November 29, 2007 to January 8, 2008 (5:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.); all day on Christmas (24 hours); and from 5:30 a.m.-9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. A history of Rockefeller Center Christmas trees, as well as more information about the tree, is available on TheTreeNYC.com.