Day: April 23, 2019

 

 

BY AIDAN GRAHAM

Southern Brooklyn is expecting a flood of cash!

New York State will soon spend big bucks to protect flood-prone communities in Brooklyn. The Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery launched a multi-million dollar effort on April 23 to prevent power failures during future extreme weather events in low-rise New York City neighborhoods.

“With severe weather events becoming more frequent, we have to be prepared and ensure our first responders and essential facilities are prepared for power outages,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul at a press conference for the announcement. “These upgrades are part of our continued efforts to rebuild and address the needs of storm-damaged communities.”

Phase one of the three-part effort – officially named the Solar Power and Battery Backup Power Program – which was spawned in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene, will begin later this year with a $980,400 investment in community facilities in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

Of those phase-one funds, $265,331 will be earmarked for upgrades to the Flatlands Volunteer Ambulance Corps in Southeast Brooklyn,

and $159,801 will be allocated to Birch Family Services residential facility in Canarsie, which provides supervised residential care for individuals with disabilities, according to the Governor’s office.

The cash will go toward retrofitting critical buildings in vulnerable communities with solar panel systems and energy storage units, which would provide access to electricity in the event of flooding, according to a representative with Solar One, a clean energy company tasked with carrying out the project.

“When Superstorm Sandy devastated the traditional power supply of New York City, hundreds of solar installations in the city could not be utilized because they did not have the ability to store energy,” said Angelica Ramdhari. “We are excited to provide reliable backup power to underserved, low-lying communities through solar power coupled with energy storage systems.”

Phase-two of the project will focus on improving the energy systems in four Brooklyn Public Library facilities, and phase-three will retrofit several more community facilities across southern Brooklyn, according to the project’s head.

“The Solar Power and Battery Backup Power Program embodies the overwhelming desire of NY Rising Community Reconstruction Planning Committees to apply lessons learned from recent storms and, in the process, to cultivate more sustainable communities that will benefit generations of New Yorkers to come,” said Emily Thompson.

S. Rodriguez

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.

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CANARSIE –

In recognition of Earth Day, the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery on Monday announced a new solar power and battery backup project to keep Brooklyn’s lights on.

Solar panels will be installed to aid two nonprofits in case of an electrical outage. Those receiving them are Birch Family Service Residential Facility in Canarsie and Flatlands Volunteer Ambulance Corps.

Birch Family Service helps families with developmenal disabilities. It will receive 18 panels.

Flatlands Volunteer Ambulance Corps will get 42 panels. Its volunteers say they lost power for five days when Sandy hit in 2012.

“We now have opportunities with solar panel and battery storage to change that dynamic so people will have the confidence to know the next time this happens, we’re ready to respond and be able to take care of our citizens,” says Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Monday was the first phase of the project, which will cost more than $400,000. The panels are set to be installed by this fall, and the backup batter system by 2020.

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