Those green energy efficient county buses have started picking up passengers from a solar powered bus shelter, part of a pilot project started last month. TOR and Tappan Zee Express bus riders can stay warm and bright with the energy from stored sunlight at the Route 59 East / NYS Thruway Exit 14 Park & Ride lot, the first stop where solar panels have been installed.
If the upgrade gets good grades from transportation planners and riders, the county plans to ‘go green’ at more bus shelters this spring. “We hope to retrofit five to ten shelters each year with the solar panels and will also include this ‘€˜green’ technology in any new shelters we install,” said Rockland County Dept of Transportation Commissioner Thomas B. Vanderbeek, P.E.
The $6000 that it cost to retrofitting the pilot came from public transportation funds at no cost to the county. The bulbs and batteries for the shelter will need to be replaced about every five years.
‘€œRockland County continues to take advantage of the latest state-of-the-art technology and alternative energy sources to improve service delivery,’€ said Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef.
The project was completed on December 13th and included installation of a light box with four 26 Ah 12-volt batteries and 2-charge controller, four 4-foot 12-volt LED tube lights and four 45- watt high-efficiency monocrystalline solar panels. When the solar panels get eight hours of sunlight, they can provide power to light the night for up to 12 hours. The panels will charge the batteries in both sunny and cloudy conditions. Since installation, monitoring of the shelter has shown that the panels are effectively providing light 24 hours a day.