Solar-Powered Charging Station Debuts in New York

Unique Solar Powered Charging Station Unveiled in Brooklyn

New York’s first, and one of the world’s only solar-powered electric vehicle (EV) charging stations began powering up cars this past March in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The park is located along Brooklyn’s East River shoreline, and is a 34 hectare experiment in sustainability overlooking the river.

Beautiful Earth is the company that built the charging station; a renewable energy firm. The station has the distinction of being one of the world’s few charging stations which gets its power from the sun, at least for now. It is expected that as EVs become more popular charging stations using solar power will begin to take their role as the best solution to providing clean and renewable energy, and their presence will multiply.

Looking for Sustainability

One of the main goals in building the station was to achieve a high level of sustainability. It is itself built from two re-commissioned steel shipping containers, one on top of the other.
Using 24 solar panels from Sharp, a Unirac solar module mounting system, and a Trojan deep cycle battery bank which was made available by the Washington-based firm OutBack Power Systems, the charging station can function 24/7. The system can provide 5.6 kilowatts of electricity, which is enough for the needs of an average home, and will keep 5 of the EVs at the park charged.

It is expected that the use of solar power to operate the park’s EVs will save the park a significant amount of money over the life of the project. Savings estimates are put at at least $200,000 in gasoline, and tens of thousands of dollars electricity expenses. The prediction is that over the 25 years that the project is expected to operate more than 530 tons of carbon dioxide emissions will be avoided.

And Portable, Too!

In addition to these obvious benefits, the station can easily be taken apart and moved to another location in less than one day. The station is also going to become part of the larger project to be built this year, the New York Center for Sustainable Energy.

As Beautiful Earth sees the future, they believe that EVs will be a large part of New York’s long-term vision for sustainability in transportation. EVs will contribute enormously to New York’s PlaNYC intitiative whose goal is to reduce the City’s carbon emissions by 30 percent before the year 2030.