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Renewable energy sources should power all city government, de Blasio asserts

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SUNSET PARK, Brooklyn — Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday that he would like 100% of the energy for city government provided by renewable energy resources.

"Any effort to help the environment and possibly bring the cost down in electricity would help everybody in New York.  So, I think it's a great idea," said Frank Alcock who works just across the street from the only wind turbine in Brooklyn's Sunset Park.

The mayor announced a Request For Information about creative solutions to power the city.

De Blasio is asking developers, power providers and others to show how wind turbines, solar panels, and other new technologies can help power a cleaner city.

"Wind and sunshine and water are indigenous New York natural resources – let’s use them locally, so New York can lead globally,” said Judith Enck, regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.

The announcement is the latest step in the mayor's initiative to reduce the city's greenhouse gas emissions 80-percent by the year 2050.

The city plans to use its big electric bill — more than $600 million a year — to push the industry to think outside the box.

To put the challenge into perspective, the 160-foot turbine in Sunset Park, installed by Sims Metal Management last year, provides about 4 percent of the energy needed to power the 11-acre recycling facility.

It cost $750,000 to build, but should pay for itself in about five years.

"It's part of the landscape already, so I don't mind it," said Diego Lara who also works across the street.​

In the long run, experts say moving to renewable energy will help a lot more than the city's bottom line.

“Today’s announcement that the New York City government will work to acquire 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources is another bold step forward essential to cutting climate pollution, protecting the health of New Yorkers’ and ensuring that our city is built to last,” said the Sierra Club's Lisa Dix.

​The mayor's request for information is designed to identify new ways to generate renewable energy in addition to those that already exist.  Responses are due by Sept.  10.