Solar Carport Unveiled at Farmingdale State College

Written by Long Island News & PR  |  10. September 2013

Farmingdale, NY - September 9th, 2013 - Farmingdale State College today unveiled a carport/charging station that is a major component of the $24 million Long Island Smart Energy Corridor funded by $12 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, with institutional commitments matching that amount.

The facility - the first of its kind within SUNY - is the result of collaboration with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), the U.S. Department of Energy, and Stony Brook University.

Farmingdale’s “Green Growth Initiative” was developed by President Keen as part of the College’s mission to develop the college as a Model of Green Technology – one of the ten goals established last year in celebration of the college’s 100th anniversary. As SUNY’s largest college of technology and an important economic engine for the region, Farmingdale continues to invest in sustainability.

“Led by Dr. Kamal Shahrabi, Dean of the School of Engineering Technology, the Renewable Energy and Sustainability Center (RESC) reflects Farmingdale’s legacy of pioneering efforts in green technology since its founding in 1912.  As we say, ‘Green Then. Green Now.’” noted President Hubert Keen.  “We are pleased to partner with LIPA and Stony Brook University in this pioneering demonstration project for smart electrical grids.”

“SUNY, with its unparalleled scope and experience, is a national leader in energy innovation,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Across New York, SUNY faculty, staff and students are involved in applied research, development and production testing to design clean energy efficient solutions. We’re extremely proud of our Farmingdale and Stony Brook campuses, and most grateful to our partners for this tremendous achievement.”

“This is a prime example of collaborative research yielding societal benefits,” said Dr. Tim Killeen, president of The Research Foundation for SUNY and SUNY’s vice chancellor for research.  “Modeling the vision of SUNY’s Networks of Excellence, faculty and facilities at two SUNY campuses have partnered with regional and national colleagues to bring about positive and lasting energy innovation.”

The Research Foundation was responsible for overseeing and administering the grant funds for this project.  SUNY has the fifth largest university-based clean energy patent portfolio in the United States.

“LIPA is proud to work with the dedicated staff from the U.S Department of Energy, Farmingdale State College, and Stony Brook University on this truly exciting project. Unique partnerships such as this one can benefit our energy future while creating jobs and strengthening our local economy. LIPA remains committed to advancing clean renewable technology and energy efficiency on Long Island, and we look forward to the creation of future projects of this scale,” said Michael J. Deering, Vice President of Environmental Affairs for the Long Island Power Authority.

“We’re proud to be working with our Farmingdale State colleagues and LIPA on this major award from DOE to support Smart Grid development, which can mean so much to our region,” said Stony Brook Vice President for Economic Development and Dean of Engineering Yacov Shamash. “The collaboration, which includes our New York State Centers of Excellence for both Wireless and Information Technology and Advanced Energy, has great potential for making our electric grid not only smarter and better able to integrate alternate energy resources, but also more resilient and able to recover more quickly from adverse events, whether natural or human-made.  New solutions are already emerging from the project and new commercializable applications will follow.”

“As the first SUNY campus in the state to offer this technology, Farmingdale State College is continuing to take a leadership role in promoting clean, renewable energy.  Providing this type of sustainable power will help protect the environment and enable students to learn first-hand about the benefits of clean energy,” said Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr.

"President Keen and the Farmingdale College family should be congratulated for bringing the first solar-powered car charging station to a SUNY campus in the state of New York. By combining two important non-polluting fuel for clean vehicles, this innovation drives us forward into the future," said Assemblyman Bob Sweeney Chair of the Assembly Environment Conservation Committee.

“The unveiling of the new solar carport at Farmingdale State College keeps Long Island on the cutting edge of new technology. This carport and charging station, the first of their kind in the SUNY system, represents an outstanding partnership between the college and the U.S. Department of Energy. The green technology used in this new station is a direct result of the pioneering efforts put forward by the university and an exciting example of what’s to come. Farmingdale remains a gem of the SUNY system and its continued investment in green technology makes the school a leader in sustainability,” said Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci.

The carport/charging station, which is an important element of Farmingdale’s green technology strategy, is located in a main student parking lot near Lupton Hall.  It accommodates 20 electric-charged vehicles at a time, draws its power from 390 solar panels above, and produces approximately 100 kilowatts of electricity.  From late May to late August (twelve weeks), 35,015 kWh were generated by the solar carport, resulting in a savings to the college of over $6,500.

For a $10 refundable deposit, students and faculty may obtain cards so they can use the charging stations for one year. On average, it takes three to four hours to charge a car. No fees will be charged for the first year of operation.

Another key element for Farmingdale is the Energy Smart House which will be equipped with smart appliances controlled by a smart meter so that the owner will be able to monitor the house’s energy use at any time in any location.  The house will be powered by solar, solar thermal (to supply hot water) and hydrogen fuel cell (to provide energy when the sun isn’t shining). There are plans to install a renewable energy treadmill in one of the upstairs bedrooms. The Smart House will be complete later this fall.

Three newly-installed and activated wind turbines, located near silos which reflect the college’s agricultural origins, are expected to contribute about 7.2 kW to the campus electric grid.  LIPA’s Smart Meter allows frequent monitoring of the electricity generated.

Other components of Farmingdale’s green technology efforts, managed by the School of Engineering Technology’s RESC, include a Commercial / Industrial demonstration site in Lupton Hall, the first accredited Solar Energy Center in the northeast, and a Sustainable Garden managed by the Department of Horticulture. RESC will focus on workforce training (over 150 technicians have been trained) and applied research in solar, wind, geothermal, alternative fuel vehicles and smart grid technology.

Farmingdale State College continues to prepare students with the education, skills, and critical thinking needed to meet the challenges of tomorrow. As the largest of SUNY’s colleges of technology (with almost 8,000 students), Farmingdale equips students with the resources and knowledge sought by today’s emerging industries. Offering bachelor and associate programs, Farmingdale will soon offer its first graduate degree. At Farmingdale, students also have abundant opportunities in experiential learning—internships, clinical training, and guided research—that provide practical instruction and personal growth. Small, personalized classes, a residence hall with suite-style living, a lush 380-acre campus undergoing major renovation, and a highly successful NCAA Division III athletics program with modern facilities make Farmingdale State College one of the fastest-growing colleges in the region. In addition, Farmingdale is the only SUNY school (and the only LI school listed) listed in the LEAST debt category in the section titled Student Debt Load at Graduation for regional colleges in the north. For more information, contact Kathryn Coley at 631-420-2400 or kathryn.coley@farmingdale.edu, look on our website, or like us on Facebook.

LIPA, a non-profit municipal electric provider, owns the retail electric Transmission and Distribution System on Long Island and provides electric service to more than 1.1 million customers in Nassau and Suffolk counties and the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens. LIPA is the 2nd largest municipal electric utility in the nation in terms of electric revenues, 3rd largest in terms of customers served and the 7th largest in terms of electricity delivered. In 2011, LIPA outperformed all other overhead electric utilities in New York State for frequency and duration of service interruptions. LIPA does not provide natural gas service or own any on-island generating assets. More information about LIPA can be found online at www.lipower.org.

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