Breezy Point isn’t called “breezy” for nothing. Now those ocean winds at the tip of the peninsula are being put to work. As part of a pilot project, a wind and solar powered street lamp is now being put to the test on Beach 208th Street.
In early November, Governor Andrew Cuomo shot down a plan to install a deep-water Liquid Natural Gas port in a location where New York Power Authority has been considering turning it into a wind farm. Part of Cuomo’s reasoning for vetoing the project was so the wind farm, which some consider to be a more environmentally safe energy option, could be developed in that area without being impacted. No developments have been made as far as that project goes, but the town of Breezy Point isn’t hesitating to take advantage of an underused resource.
On November 18, a wireless solar and wind-powered streetlight was installed on Beach 208thStreet as part of a pilot project. The technology comes from Ireland-based company Airsynergy, which licensed New York-based Aris Renewable Energy, LLC in 2013 to manufacture and sell its technology in the United States and the Caribbean. Airsynergy director and co-founder, Adrian Kelly, had tweeted a photo of the new product in Breezy Point on November 18, saying it was the “4th US Airsynergy turbine to go up in the last three days.” The product being used in the pilot program in Breezy Point is called the Aris Wind Remote Power Unit (RPU) Off-Grid Wind/Solar Lighting Solution. Airsynergy products have been used in Ireland and are now being marketed and tested in the United States and the Caribbean for the first time.
Due to the strategic location of Breezy Point, which is susceptible to windy conditions and unblocked sun exposure, the company proposed the pilot to the Breezy Point Cooperative general manager, Arthur Lighthall. According to a knowledgeable source, Co-op management met with technical representatives of the company to review the product and the co-op’s Board of Directors approved the product to be tested on site. The product will be tested for six months and will record data so the company can determine how effective it is, at no cost to the co-op. If all goes well and the product proves to be beneficial, it could be something that is used more regularly in Breezy Point as the community makes an effort to become more “green,” the source said.
The product is a light pole that can function on both solar and wind energy as it has a wind turbine and solar panel. The solar panel runs the product during the day and the wind turbine can power it during the night, but with winds an almost constant factor in Breezy Point, the wind turbine alone can power the product. The product also comes with a battery that can store enough energy to power the lamp for five days, in the event that there is little to no wind or sunlight, making it useful in situations like in the days after Hurricane Sandy.