Power Generation at Stillwell Station

As Richard suggested last week, I obtained a copy of the Brooklyn Heights Courier (June 18-24) because it published content relevant to our Along the Shore Workshop. I had time to read the paper today, and the front page has an interesting article about BQE modernization. I also read a story about condos in Williamsburg. But what really grabbed my attention was an article on page 18 about the solar panels at Stillwater Ave. Subway Station. NYC Transit Chief Environmental Engineer Tom Abdallah is quoted in the article. The article states that some of the solar panels are already damaged, not soon to be repaired. (I remember that a member of our group asked about this.) Furthermore, the article states that the solar panels are presently capable of powering only the lights and MetroCard machines at the station. Contrary to what I thought we were led to believe at the architectural firm, the solar panels are NOT connected to the electrical grid. I was very disappointed to read this. Apparently, the project was meant more as an “educational service” about renewable energy, rather than a practical way to augment the electrical needs of the subway station. Were we victims of “Greenwashing”?!

~Debra Socci

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2 responses to “Power Generation at Stillwell Station

  1. Hmm, I’m wondering if the gov’t is taking proper steps in caring for the panels, meaning that once the building has been built, the architect has no more ownership, so even if the panels can withstand certain elements or are replaceable, the owner of the building is responsible for that. And I also wonder about why this is not plugged into the grid–was the architect discussing a different project? Or were we greenwashed (nice word!)? Or were we confused by the high hopes and hoop dreams of eco-friendly advancement? Thanks for the recap, Deb. I didn’t get a chance to check out that article.

  2. Great information! The Gothamist states that the solar panels over the Stillwell Avenue Station generate 15% of the power used by the station not including the trains or signals.

    At the very least, what we were told at Kiss and Cathcart was deceptive. It is possible that the homes in the area we were shown as being “able to be” powered by the solar panels on the station would use a lot less power than the station which is open 24 hours a day. But why not simply state the facts?

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