YONKERS, NY – On Thursday, October 6, at 4 p.m., Mayor Mike Spano will flip the switch on a new, more efficient energy system for the Science Barge, located on Yonkers’ waterfront. The system, donated by Green Mountain Energy Sun Club at a value of $50,000, will modernize the off-grid solar electric system aboard the Science Barge.
“This donation from the Sun Club® propels the Barge into the next era, totally updating the energy system that powers our hydroponic farm. We will now have double the solar power and double the energy reserves,” said Bob Walters, director of the Science Barge, a program of Groundwork Hudson Valley. The grant includes 12 new LG solar panels that produce a total of 3,420 watts and an Iron Edison 48 volt battery bank that is significantly more efficient than the outdated system it is replacing.
“The Sun Club loves working with unique nonprofits, and the Science Barge is an excellent demonstration of renewable energy and environmental education,” said Mark Parsons, president of Green Mountain Energy Sun Club and general manager of Green Mountain Energy Company. “We’re proud to support the Science Barge by helping the sustainable urban farm operate completely off the grid.”
Thanks to an anonymous donor, the Science Barge was recently purchased by Groundwork, freeing the organization from a long-time lease obligation. “Now, with the new energy system, the Barge is positioned to demonstrate and teach sustainable farming for the future, with zero carbon emissions, zero pesticides, and zero runoff,” notes Walters.
Accompanying Mayor Spano at the press event will be representatives from the Sun Club and Green Mountain Energy Company, Science Barge staff and volunteers, local elected officials, and members of Groundwork Hudson Valley’s youth Green Team. There will be refreshments and giveaways for attendees.
The Science Barge educators are also rolling out new climate change curricula this fall, thanks to a grant from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association (NOAA). Groundwork was one of only six organizations in the country to receive this grant to provide cutting-edge education in climate change and resiliency to Yonkers school students. New signs and exhibits will be installed on the Barge, spreading awareness about climate change among thousands of visitors each year.
Since its founding in 2002, the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club has donated more than $4 million to nonprofits focusing on renewable energy, energy efficiency and resource conservation in numerous communities in Texas and in the Northeast. To learn more about the Sun Club, visit www.gmsunclub.com.
Besides Green Mountain Energy Sun Club, the Science Barge is funded by grants from the City of Yonkers, ConEdison, Domino Sugar, NOAA, the EPA, and the Hudson River Foundation. The Barge is located at 99 Dock Street, Yonkers, NY 10701.
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