A sneak peek into GrowNYC Union Square Greenmarket’s solar-powered van

Take one step into the GrowNYC Union Square Greenmarket and colorful fruits, veggies, and other locally-grown products will catch your eye. The Union Square Greenmarket is known for its healthy and sustainable finds, so it is no surprise that the farmer’s market has taken it to the next level with a solar-powered cooking van. Union Square Greenmarket visitors now have the chance to try healthy eats from cooking demonstrations powered by the sun.

A 720-Watt solar array sits on the top of the GrowNYC van and charges a battery which generates pollution-free electricity to power kitchen appliances that are used for cooking demonstrations.

The solar installation was made possible by a $16,599 donation from the Green Mountain Energy™ Sun Club™, a voluntary program in which Green Mountain residential customers can make monthly contributions toward solar generation systems for non-profits.

Green Mountain Energy employees posing at the GrowNYC Union Square Greenmarket with the company mascot.Solar array at the GrowNYC Union Square GreenmarketNew York residents visiting the Green Mountain Energy booth at the GrowNYC Union Square Greenmarket.Woman cooking with solar power.

Solar One, a non-profit organization that promotes urban sustainability and education installed the array. The solar panels are expected to generate 756 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of pollution-free energy each year, avoiding 750 pounds of CO2 emissions.  That’s like not taking 298 New York City cab rides!

In peak season, 140 regional farmers, fishermen, and bakers gather at the market and interact with an average of 60,000 daily visitors. The Union Square Greenmarket hosts cooking demonstrations four days a week, 52 weeks per year. Using solar energy to power the cooking demonstrations allows shoppers to have a full green experience. For more information on the Union Square Greenmarket, visit www.grownyc.org/unionsquaregreenmarket.

If you are interested on becoming a Sun Club member and bringing solar energy to non-profits, visit www.gmsunclub.com.

View pictures from the Union Square Greenmarket Sun Club dedication and first solar-powered cooking demonstration here.