NYSERDA recently provided a $588,000 grant to Steinway & Sons, the famous Long Island City-based piano manufacturer, for the installation of an $870,000 solar-powered HVAC and dehumidifying system. The Steinway plant’s 27,000-square-foot roof is flat and ideal for the seven rows of parabolic mirrors that constitute the system.
Each mirror weighs nearly 300 pounds and can withstand wind speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. The mirrors capture sunlight, redirect it into a pipe, and turn a water – glycol mix into steam, which is used to heat the plant during winter. During the summer, a chiller removes the hot water from the mixture and the residual air is used to cool and dehumidify the building. Humidity is a major issue for Steinway; its pianos are hand-crafted from wood, which expands under conditions of high humidity.
Steinway also expects to receive $260,000 in federal solar tax credits for the installation. These credits are available under the Business Energy Tax Credit, enacted through Section 48 of the 2005 Energy Policy Act, and extended under TARP (last October’s bailout) through the end of 2016. The amount of this credit is equal to 30 percent of the cost of a qualifying system and there is no maximum credit amount. Steinway vice president of manufacturing Andrew Horbachevsky told the Daily News that he expects the system to start paying for itself after 4.5 years. The installation should be operational by this coming May.
- Steinway & Sons Factory Goes Green (NYDN)
- Coming Soon at Steinway, Solar Power (City Room)
- Business Energy Tax Credit (GRELJ)