The number of residential solar projects across the five boroughs of New York City increased more than 2,750% in 5 years, from 186 in 2011 to more than 5300 in 2016. There's another 1,900 projects in the pipeline, too.

The massive growth is largely due to the 70% drop in installation costs, as well as the government incentives. The number of solar installers in the five boroughs increased from 5 to 55 in just 10 years, and now the industry is employing 2,700 workers across the city.

Most of the city’s existing solar projects are on single-family houses on Staten Island, but town house owners in Brooklyn are getting on board, and owners of apartment buildings in the Bronx and Queens are also starting to consider ways to harness the sun’s power.

After spending $1.7 million to install solar systems on nine rental buildings in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, Daniel Benedict, the founder of Benedict Realty Group, estimated that the investment will have paid for itself in about five years.

“Solar is great for long-term owners,” he said. “I’m saving 70 percent on my annual electricity bill.”

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