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Jul 27 2009

NYIT Introduces Long Island's First Solar Carport

Congressman Steve Israel Joins Ceremony to Unveil NYIT's Solar Carport-Key to NYIT's Green Print Initiative and a Major Contribution to Sustainable Energy Solutions for Long Island


New York Institute of Technology (NYIT)  officially introduced the first of two solar carports it is developing at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 27 at the Central Islip site.

Part of NYIT's "One Spot, One Car, One Commute" solar plug-in hybrid electric vehicle project (S-PHEV), the freestanding, four-car carport prototype has solar panels integrated into its structure. The carport shades parked vehicles while collecting energy from the sun and converting it into power to charge plug-in hybrid vehicles.

U.S. Congressman Steve Israel (D-Huntington) participated in the ceremony with NYIT's President Edward Guiliano and other members of NYIT's faculty and administration. The congressman was instrumental in helping NYIT secure a $500,000 federal grant that funded the solar carport research, as well as a campus-wide "green print" initiative to determine the carbon footprint of the university, to research alternative energy technologies, and to undertake broad efforts to reduce energy consumption on campus and in the community.

"I'm proud to have worked with NYIT to make this innovative project happen. This is a great example of how alternative energy technologies can help us all go 'off the grid.' I look forward to the day when we're all using solar panels to charge our cars and light our homes," said Rep. Israel.

Daniel Rapka, who received a master's degree in energy management from NYIT in 2007, is program manager for the S-PHEV project and an instructor in NYIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering, estimates that a single 200-square-foot parking space can collect enough solar energy on an annual basis to enable a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle to drive the typical daily New York metro commute.

According to Rapka, "Charging plug-in hybrid electric cars is only the first step. The solar power generated by the carports can also be diverted to the local power grid and, in the near future, with a process called Vehicle to Grid (V2G) sharing, the plug-in electric hybrid cars can be a resource for the grid."

David G. Schieren, a 2006 graduate of NYIT's energy management master's degree program and CEO of EmPower, the solar contractor that designed and installed the carport, said "Charging electric vehicles with solar energy means that we can drive without consuming any fossil fuels-that is the ultimate goal. This is a grand slam for energy security, the environment, and domestic economic growth. EmPower is proud to be partnering with NYIT on this vital project that represents significant progress toward this goal. We look forward to collaborating on making this technology a widespread reality."

The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place in the Student Activities Center (SAC) parking lot at NYIT's Central Islip site on Carleton Avenue (Country Road 17), just south of East Suffolk Avenue. In addition to the ribbon cutting, President Guiliano and Rep. Israel spoke, and NYIT experts discussed the technical aspects of the carport. NYIT's two converted hybrid Toyota Priuses, as well as several campus electric vehicles, were on hand to demonstrate how the carport works.

About NYIT
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees in more than 90 fields of study, including architecture and interior design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has more than 15,000 students attending campuses in Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. For more than 50 years, NYIT has been guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity and access to all qualified students and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, 81,500 students have graduated from NYIT. For more information, visit

Rebecca Kogan
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