Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) and City Council Member Alan Maisel (D-Bergen Beach, Canarsie, Flatlands, Georgetown, Gerritsen Beach, Marine Park, Mill Basin, Mill Island, Sheepshead Bay) were on hand at the Flatlands Volunteer Ambulance Center in Brooklyn as they announced the launch of the Solar Power and Battery Backup power program for flood-prone New York City neighborhoods.
The three-part effort will help flood-prone neighborhoods across NYC withstand future extreme weather events. The launch of the project was developed after the effects of superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
Phase one of the program, which is set to begin during the Fall of 2019, will invest more than $980,400 to equip four community facilities in Brooklyn and the Bronx with upgrades designed to ensure continuous access to power and maintain services in the event of an electrical grid failure.
“As part of our efforts to strengthen New York’s energy infrastructure and improve storm resiliency, we are investing in solar power and energy storage at key sites in flood-prone areas around the city,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “With extreme weather events becoming more frequent, we have to be prepared and ensure our first responders and essential facilities are prepared for power outages. These upgrades are part of our continued efforts to rebuild and address the needs of storm-damaged communities.”
Birch Family Services residential facility in Canarsie and Flatlands Volunteer Ambulance Corp in Flatlands will be the two Brooklyn community facilities with access to the power program. Throggs Neck Volunteer Ambulance Corp and the Villa Maria Academy in the Bronx will be the other two facilities.
“This especially resonates with me, having lived through Sandy. Lieutenant Governor said about seven years ago she didn’t think there would be an office like this, eight years ago we never even thought there was going to be a Hurricane Sandy. Nevertheless, Mother Nature caught up with us and I want to thank the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and the administration for not forgetting Brooklyn,” said Maisel. “I’m just happy to see go into effect and hopefully we never have to use it.”
The backup batteries will be powered by solar energy, which will be accessed from the solar panels provided by the GOSR’s program.
“When Superstorm Sandy devastated the traditional power supply of New York City, the hundreds of solar installations in the city could not be utilized because they did not have the ability to store energy. We are excited to provide reliable backup power to underserved, low-lying communities through solar power coupled with energy storage systems,” said Angelica Ramdhari, Director of Resilient Solar at Solar One.
Phase Two of the project will provide four Brooklyn Public Library sites with solar panels and battery backup. Phase Three will equip several more community facilities with solar panels and battery backup across Southern Brooklyn. No specific locations have been announced as of yet.