Stillwell Avenue Subway Station Powered By Solar Panels
10/03/2005 06:57 PM
A subway station in Brooklyn is getting attention for more than just its train service. As NY1’s Roger Clark explains in the following report, if you want to know what keeps it humming, just look up.
Copyright © 2008 NY1 News
Riders at the busy Stillwell Avenue station in Coney Island are usually in such a rush, why would they think of looking up at the ceiling? Well, the station is partially powered by the sun.
Sixty percent of the station’s power comes from the 2.700 solar panels on the roof. The system is the largest of its kind in a train station anywhere in the entire world.
“The station produces about 250,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, which is about enough to power 40 homes in New York State,” says Tony Daniels of Kiss and Cathcart Architects.
The system was installed as part of a $294 million rehabilitation project at the eight-track transit hub, which is for the most part complete. Using thin film modules, it captures the sun's rays, powering lights, MetroCard vending machines - pretty much everything besides the third rail.
Commuters who use the Stillwell Avenue station every day may not think too much about the fact that it's partially powered by solar energy, but the company that created the solar modules, well, they are pretty excited about it. In fact, they came all the way from Germany just to check it out.
“The nice thing here is you put in the system, and you produce electricity right at the spot where you need it,” says Dr. Winfried Hoffman of Schott Solar.
And the company, which is trying to sell solar panels of course, says it is getting busy as the nation's energy concerns continue.
“Although it's hurting my own personal cost to fill up the car, it’s creating a lot of buzz in the industry,” says Steve Cohen of Schott Solar.
And it’s creating the juice to help keep power flowing to the city's biggest subway terminal.
- Roger Clark