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Queens College, Sustainable CUNY to Host Resilient PV System

--CUNY Teams with EPRI on DOE SunShot Project for Emergency Shelter/Grid Reliability--

FLUSHING, NY, January 22, 2016—The U.S. Department of Energy announced on Tuesday support for a three-year collaboration with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) that includes designing a solar+storage system at Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY), under the SunShot Initiative’s ‘Sustainable And Holistic Integration Of Energy Storage And Solar PV’ (SHINES). The 50 to 60 kW PV system would ideally be built near the FitzGerald Gymnasium, which serves as a coastal storm shelter for the community. Sustainable CUNY, which has led Federal, State and City efforts since 2005 to reduce the ‘soft costs’ of installing solar, is leading the CUNY team as part of the CUNY Smart Distributed Generation (DG) Hub. EPRI Release

CUNY serves as one of New York City’s prime partners in its coastal storm shelter operations and
housed over 2,700 evacuees during Hurricane Sandy. Queens College supplied shelter and supplies to over 450 men, women and children, many of whom were from the hard-hit Rockaways area, including those with special needs. 
In addition to helping supply power to Queens College’s emergency shelter, the proposed system will supply renewable solar power year round to the campus, reduce costs, and help to reduce the load on the grid. The project also aims to test controls that can help the college manage the other benefits of a solar+storage system, such as using its batteries to ‘shift’ electricity loads or ‘shave’ peak usage to avoid high electricity costs.
“Queens College prides itself on being a community leader in sustainability initiatives. We strive for what will benefit the campus and our borough, and simultaneously provide our students with an opportunity to learn best practices as part of their QC education. Learning to contribute to a more sustainable society is in keeping with our mission to learn so that we may serve,” said Queens College President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez.
Sustainable CUNY’s work over the last decade to reduce solar market barriers has made it easier for New Yorkers to ‘go solar’ and we are proud to work with the EPRI Team and Queens College to host a solar plus storage system,” said Tria Case, University Director of Sustainability. “Through the Smart DG Hub and this project, CUNY will now help demonstrate new technology that can protect citizens during energy emergencies, as well as to support the Department of Energy goal to integrate resilient solar into our utility grid. ”
In 2012, some designated storm shelters across the city were unable to open due to the lack of power, while some critical infrastructure facilities that relied on generators ran out of fuel. In addition, solar arrays on NYC rooftops, while undamaged by the storm, were unable to supply critically needed power during the subsequent outage. Virtually none had batteries or ‘storage.’ Key issues such as system design, costs, technology integration, incentive structure, codes and regulations still needed to be addressed before storage could come into broad use for solar as well as other distributed generation.
Sustainable CUNY is addressing these issues through the Smart DG Hub, which won support from the Department of Energy SunShot Initiative in 2014. The Smart DG Hub is creating a pathway to the marketplace, initially for resilient PV, in collaboration with dozens of partners and agencies that focus on four areas: hardware, software, policy and codes, and financing.


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Deputy Director of News Services
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(718) 997- 5597

Maria Matteo
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Kiely Hall, Room 809
(718) 997-5593

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