- THE MAGAZINE
Designed and built by BE, 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 greatly enhances the Park’s already impressive 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.
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 project. More than 530 tons of CO2 would have been emitted during this period had the Park chosen to use traditional service vehicles.
“On behalf of Brooklyn Bridge Park, I thank Beautiful Earth for the gift of this pioneering solar-powered charging station for the park’s fleet of electric vehicles,” said President of Brooklyn Bridge Park Regina Myer. “Brooklyn Bridge Park is New York’s premiere sustainably-built and operated public park and the charging station furthers our mission to honor the environment and conserve resources. We are thrilled to partner with one of Brooklyn’s most innovative technology companies and to help demonstrate the future of renewable energy.”
“There are ambitious emissions reductions goals in PlaNYC, our long-term vision for a greener, greater New York,” said David Bragdon, Director of the Mayor Bloomberg’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability. “The Beautiful Earth charging station at Brooklyn Bridge Park and other steps we have taken to green our fleet of vehicles will help us meet our goal and set an example for the thousands of visitors that will enter the park and see the charging station.”
Constructed with two upcycled, decommissioned steel shipping containers stacked on top of each other, BE’s charging station is off-grid, 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 for 24/7, on-demand use. 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.
“We are honored to contribute to the sustainability of this 21st century park, one in which an underused stretch of waterfront has been majestically transformed and opened to the public in an environmentally-sensitive way,” said Beautiful Earth Group President and CEO Lex Heslin. “We look forward to a long, fruitful and emissions-free collaboration.”
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.
An additional benefit of the charging station is that it is modular – it can be deconstructed, moved and reassembled in less than a day – and it serves as a model for other parks and small businesses looking to use clean energy for their vehicles. 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.
For more information, visit www.beautifulearthgroup.com or www.brooklynbridgepark.org.