Sunrise Power Solutions of New York have just installed the largest single solar site for a school district on Long Island. Smithtown Central School District has recently unveiled their new $6.4 million carport, which shades a staggering 3 acres of the school’s parking lot. With 5,422 solar modules, this installation generates 2.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity every year — that’s enough to satisfy a third of the district’s electric needs.
As the leading solar carport installer in New York, the Smithtown District project is a point of pride and celebration for the company and community alike. This carport installation, which features electric vehicle charging stations as well, is the culmination of a year-long, $23 million energy overhaul of school district buildings that state officials announced would cut traditional electric demand by nearly 90%. This saves roughly $1 million a year in energy costs for the Smithtown District alone. The solar carport structure has been functional and operating since May of this year, and already is drawing a crowd. School administrators, students, and parents come from all over the check out this celebrated installation.
Smithtown’s solar carports are constructed from steel columns. As massive as these columns are, they are installed in a way that does not block or otherwise uses any parking spaces. The panels are roughly 15 feet high, and are wisely positioned to catch the sun and its optimal angle. The carports also funnel rain and snow onto a median of grass in order to keep the panels working at maximum efficiency in any weather.
“This is the biggest one we’ve done,” remarked Stephen Foley, director of business development for Sunrise Power Solutions. “There are fewer than 100 carport arrays but interest is growing,” said Steve. “Because they are free-standing, they avoid complications that might arise from roof maintenance.”
Smithtown Central School District made several energy-efficient upgrades to its’ buildings, replacing pipes, valves, and ceilings to maximize efficiency and energy savings. One upgrade, funded by a $656,000 PSEG Long Island grant, replaced nearly 30,000 light fixtures with LEDs. The team installed smart controllers, enabled to switch off devices like computers, smartboards, and scanners when the school day is done. Those changes amount to 1.7 million kW hours of energy savings.
“The team at Sunrise is proud of what we’ve accomplished here, but the best part is knowing the money saved on energy will directly support the students here at the Smithtown District,” states Brian Chebuske, vice president of operations at Sunrise. “By cutting back energy costs, it’s really the kids who benefit most. And that’s what motivates us to take on these big challenges – big rewards for our community.”
About Sunrise Power Solutions
Sunrise Power Solutions is a clean energy contractor providing innovative energy solutions to our customers in the key markets that we serve: municipal, K12 educational, and manufacturing. We provide professional design, installation, and maintenance for commercial energy projects, including electrical contracting, mechanical contracting, solar installation, combined heat and power (CHP) installation, and energy storage solutions (ESS).