New Building Integrated Photovoltaic System at the Whitehall Ferry

April 01, 2006

The Whitehall Terminal for the Staten Island Ferry has a new solar power generating system integrated into the glass of its south-facing canopy. Called building integrated photovoltaics (PV), this system consists of 288 glass panels that cover more than 8,000 square feet of the canopy over the ferry dock. The canopy has a rated capacity of 40 kilowatts (kW) and is semi-translucent to allow light into the interior of the terminal. Atlantis Energy Systems, Inc., which has PV glazing plants in Poughkeepsie, New York, and Exmore, Virginia, christened the new system on March 14 at a ceremony at the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in lower Manhattan.

The Whitehall Ferry Terminal is a major tourist attraction and commuter hub for New York City and annually hosts more than 20 million passengers. It was constructed in 1907, rebuilt in 1954, and experienced a fire in 1991 that damaged the roof. The owners of the terminal — the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey — decided to renovate the structure in a way that would take advantage of the south-facing building fa├žade for solar generation.

The project was funded in part by a grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) through the state's public benefits fund. See the Atlantis Energy Systems, Inc., online explanation of its custom PV glazing. New Age Solar in Clarksburg, New Jersey, installed power monitoring equipment and a display so that passengers can view the energy production from the PV system and published online photos of the installation.

Source: March 14 edition of Solarbuzz.