FDNY Goes Solar
Drivers passing by the FDNY firehouse at 92-20 Rockaway Beach Boulevard on Thursday, August 22nd, watched as solar panels and other materials were hoisted by crane up onto the roof.
When contacted about this installation here in Rockaway, FDNY spokesman Frank Dwyer replied with the following information about the Department’s green initiative.
“The FDNY has been using the solar thermal technology for a number of years in locations throughout the five boroughs, which has helped reduce gas usage. This is part of our long standing green initiative and New York City's PlaNYC goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“FDNY, in partnership with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) have researched and engineered the installation of hot water generating solar thermal panels for FDNY Firehouses, EMS stations and other facilities.”
Referring to the system now going in at the RBB firehouse, home to Engine Company 266 and Battalion 47, he stated, “The panels you're referring to are actually used to generate hot water, not electricity. The hot water solar thermal panels consist of a closed loop system in which water is circulated through a supply and return line from the boiler room to the panels on the roof thereby heating the water and storing it in a high recovery hot water tank. This system is designed to reduce or at peak times eliminate the need for gas usage to heat the hot water tank.”
Noting that a major problem for fire, police and other emergency service locations was the loss of communications and power after Hurricane Sandy, FDNY was asked if this was a response to future storms.
Dwyer replied, “These houses, along with the houses listed below, were chosen for specific criteria, including that there is no sun obstruction from adjacent buildings. This project is not related to Sandy, it was in the works beforehand.
Engine Co. 264/ Engine Co. 328 /
Ladder Co. 134
Engine Co. 265/ Ladder Co. 121 /
Battalion 47/ EMS 47
Engine Co. 266
Engine Co. 268/ Ladder Co. 137
Engine Co. 329”
“In terms of other energy saving initiatives,” he said that “The FDNY continues to research and outfit facilities with green technology. Recently, all five (5) Rockaway firehouses, amongst others, were outfitted with occupancy sensors for indoor lighting. This technology had reduced the Fire Department's electrical consumption as unused lighting is automatically turned off in unoccupied areas, usually after the Companies go out on an emergency call.”