A rather interesting development is taking shape on New York’s ConeyIsland, the southern most portion of the Big Apple’s Brooklyn Borough.It has nothing to do with the Astroland Amusement Park or the annualMermaid Parade. Instead, it’s solar power that’s stealing the spotlightfrom Sea Gate to Manhattan Beach.
The solar developments began in 2005 when the city’s subway systemopened the Stillwell Avenue Terminal: it was equipped with 2,800 solarelectric panels mounted to its roof. The installation gained nationalattention two years later when the American Institute of Architects’Committee gave theinstallation honorable mention on the 2007 Top Ten list of greenprojects, calling it “a catalyst for the revitalization of ConeyIsland.”
The latest solar-power development on Coney Island came in April,2010, when the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and Metropolitan TransitAuthority (MTA) mounted solar hot-water panels atop the Island’s maintenance facility, thebiggest rapid transit yard in the world. The 48 panels provide hot water — at temperatures as high as 240 degrees — for the washing of subwaycars. The system also supplies hot water in the restrooms. NYPA’sPresident Richard Kessel found the installation very appropriate forConey Island:
“It seems fitting that we’re pioneering this advancedsolar-thermal technology in a community whose iconic attractionsinclude the beach and sun.”
The NYPA has made efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over34,000 tons a year, according to New York City Transit President ThomasPrendergast. This latest solar thermal (solar hot water) installationcost the NYPA $550,000, minus the $150,000 grant they received from theNew York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
Predergast noted the solar thermal system, which replaced an old hotwater tank, will save about $94,000 annually.
Image: The NYC Transit Maintenance Facility is part of the MTA system thattransports 2.4 billion New Yorkers each year.