Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York City is now home to a unique, portable, off-grid solar-powered EV charging station.
Designed and built by Beautiful Earth Group, a Brooklyn-based renewable energy company, the station is the first solar-powered charging station in New York City and one of only a few in the world. Brooklyn Bridge Park will use the donated station to charge its electric service vehicles (EVs) using only the power of the sun.
This project is part of the park’s sustainability efforts, which include the reuse of materials from demolished buildings, use of native plant species, reintroduction of marine habitats and management of rainwater and runoff.
Solar-powered EVs save money
Using solar power to operate its EVs will yield significant cost savings for Brooklyn Bridge Park — more than $200,000 in gasoline costs, and tens of thousands of dollars in electricity costs over the 25-year lifetime of the solar-powered EV charging station. In addition, 530 fewer tons of CO2 will have been emitted by the park thanks to the fact that it will be powering its EVs with sun.
“We are thrilled to partner with one of Brooklyn’s most innovative technology companies and to help demonstrate the future of renewable energy,” said President of Brooklyn Bridge Park Regina Myer.
Constructed with two up-cycled, decommissioned steel shipping containers stacked on top of each other, BE’s solar-charging station is off-grid. It is entirely powered by 24 photovoltaic panels on the roof, which catch the sun’s rays throughout the day and store them as electricity in battery packs.
5.6 kW system
With production of 5.6 kilowatts, the station also stores enough energy to power a small home and can charge five electric service vehicles and a full-size electric car as they come and go.
BE originally operated its solar-powered EV charging station on an industrial lot in Red Hook before donating it to Brooklyn Bridge Park.
To build the station, BE purchased photovoltaic panels made at a Sharp Electronics plant in Tennessee; a racking system from Unirac in New Mexico; recycled containers from a local New York vendor; batteries, which are 97 percent recyclable, from the Trojan Battery Company in Georgia; inverters from OutBack Power Systems in Washington; and the solar array’s frame from U.S. Fence Systems in Brooklyn.
Unique modular construction
An additional benefit of the solar EV-charging station is that it is modular – it can be deconstructed, moved and reassembled in less than a day. It also serves as a model for other parks and small businesses looking to use clean energy for their vehicles.
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“The Beautiful Earth charging station at Brooklyn Bridge Park and other steps we have taken to green our fleet of vehicles will help us set an example for the thousands of visitors who will enter the park and see the charging station,” said David Bragdon, Director of New York City’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability.
The charging station is scheduled to become part of a larger New York Center for Sustainable Energy that will be built and unveiled in the Park this spring.
Beautiful Earth Group develops, owns and operates utility-scale solar power and wind power generating facilities, as well as EV charging infrastructure. BE invests exclusively in non-carbon emitting electricity generation and seeks to promote long-term green solutions towards a goal of sustainability.
Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of the nine waterfront destinations that comprise NYHarborWay, an initiative of the Bloomberg Administration to make the New York Harbor a major recreational destination for New Yorkers and visitors.
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