News

June 16, 2012
 

QC students bringing solar power to Flushing

Solar-Flushing

Students from a QC Urban Studies class present their findings on the benefits of implementing solar energy in Flushing at Flushing Library on June 1.
Photo Courtesy: One Flushing and Joe Anuta

S

olar energy may not be the first thing most think of to power their homes and businesses, but one class at Queens College showed that it can be a viable, though challenging, option in Flushing.

During the spring 2012 semester, students of the Solar Flushing class, taught by urban studies professor Tarry Hum, conducted a study on the feasibility of photovoltaics, or solar panels, to be used in Flushing. They presented their findings on June 1 at the Queens Library in Flushing.

The class focused on politics, planning and community participation in solar energy advancement, according to Professor Hum. They covered the areas of Community Board 7, including the Mitchell-Linden neighborhood, looking for buildings that could host solar panels.

Solar Flushing analyzed data from the New York City Solar Map, an interactive online tool that allows users to estimate the solar energy potential for every building in New York City. Government policy was analyzed as well, including Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer’s Rooftop Revolution report and the NY Solar Jobs Act.

Researchers found that Rooftop Revolution, an initiative looking to install solar panels at city schools to generate electricity, could create up to 5,000 new jobs.

They also found that if solar panels were placed on rooftops in the Mitchell-Linden area, more than $400,000 could be saved annually on electricity; panels would pay for themselves in five and a half years.

“People should care about this because it’s their electricity,” said Carina Nieves, a research participant who graduated from QC in May 2012. “It would be homegrown, here in New York City, and with solar energy it would be a lot cheaper in the long term because energy rates are going up across the board.”

The class also collected research by interviewing stakeholders and community partners from different organizations. Amongst those interviewed were John Cho from One Flushing, council member Peter Koo and Assemblywoman Grace Meng.

“The reason we wanted to look at these community stakeholders was that [they] each brought a different perspective,” said William Leverett who graduated from QC in 2011. “See who can actually, once these initiatives are put in place, implement them within the community and who has stake within the community to influence social change and social development.”

One of the obstacles to solar energy is how costly solar panels can be, according to the class; however, there are ways to finance them.

Through subsidies, loans, grants and rebates for people who want to install solar technology, the project can be feasible.

“Advocates need to campaign for the federal government to create a solar energy program, funded by the government with subsidized money, that can be loaned to people who want to install solar panels and it can be paid back with interest. These loans can be recycled to new applicants producing a self-sustaining system,” said QC graduate student Sarah Salama, during the presentation. “Unfortunately, because energy is not seen as a huge crisis just yet, it is being ignored and put to the side and the problem is not going to go away.”

The report for the study is currently being edited, but will be available soon. A video of the presentation entitled “Solar Flushing” is available on YouTube.



About the Author

admin




Advertisement
 
 

 
A list of the top 15 fossil fuel companies CUNY invests in, courtesy of FOIA records provided by CUNY Private Prison Divest. As a note to the reader, Petrobras appears twice in the record with $23,600 as another separate investment.

CUNY invests nearly $5 million in fossil fuel companies

CUNY invested more than $4.9 million last year in fossil fuel companies such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell, according to documents provided by CUNY Prison Divest obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. C...
by Fernando Echeverri and Brandon Jordan
 

 
 
Photo courtesy of Taylor Blanket
The iTones quickly achieved success through different competitions and local performances.

Spotlight on the iTones: QC’s first official a capella group

Queens College’s iTones is a co-ed a capella group founded in 2012 by President Taylor Blanket and Vice President Jessica Altieri. A cappella is technically defined as “singing without instrumental accompaniment.” While s...
by Candice Samuels
 

 
 
SePI15SO

Comedian Ted Alexandro opens up about life as a comedian

By Alexander Hugel Queens College is known as the alma mater of some of the funniest men in comedy such as the legendary Jerry Seinfeld and Ray Ramono, but it was also the old stomping ground of lesser known comedian Ted Alexan...
by Guest Contributor
 

 

 
Photo courtesy of Amanda Goldstein
Anyone may be able to enter the pool offered by the Aquatics Department.

Students and community can get cool in QC’s pool

Did you know there is a pool at Queens College? Not many students are aware of the Olympic sized, 25 yards long and six-lane wide pool located in the Fitzgerald Gymnasium. The Queens College Aquatics Department offers two progr...
by Albert Roman
 

 
Advertisement
 
Photo courtesy of Randal Olson

Students unable to work a full-time job and pay tuition, data finds

The average full-time student needs to work more than 900 hours to pay for one year of tuition and fees. In 1979, for the same person, only 182 hours were needed. Randal Olson, a graduate research assistant at Michigan State Un...
by Brandon Jordan
 

 




Advertisement