Just as during Hurricane Katrina solar has come to the rescue for victims of Sandy. Where utilities haven’t been able to reestablish a grid connection to communities ravaged by Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey, The Solar Sandy Project has been able to provide power for essential services like charging phones, laptops, tools and critical equipment without the need for fuel.
Thanks to the efforts of Solar One NYC and its partners Consolidated Solar, NYSERDA and SolarCity, victims of Sandy that are still lacking power can get access to much needed electricity. So far they’ve deployed five 10 kilowatt PV generators in neighborhoods that don’t have power. “If you check Solar One’s Solar Sandy project homepage, you can scroll down to the map to see which ones have been deployed, and which were moved after locations regained power,” said SolarCity spokesperson Will Craven. The project has been funded by HSBC and the 11th Hour Project.
Whereas gas or diesel generators can be deployed in such areas to help homeowners and the community recover, they still require fuel, which can still be costly, especially to a family that has just lost everything. The solar generators offer free energy and are deployed where other community services are being offered, like food and medical help.
The organizations’ efforts are in addition to other efforts like those offered by Occupy Sandy, which is helping to coordinate donations. And it’s the first time SolarCity has so directly helped in the recovery efforts. “This…is the first time we’ve assisted in disaster recovery by supplying generators specifically,” Craven said. “But we did work with Elon Musk and Tesla Motors to donate a solar project to victims of the Fukushima disaster in Soma City, Japan, and also partnered with the Musk Foundation to donate a solar power system with battery backup to a hurricane response center in Alabama, in an area that had been devastated by Hurricane Katrina and then deeply affected by the Gulf Oil Spill in 2010.”
Others are also offering aid through solar generators. For instance, GreenPeace is in the region with its mobile PV generator.