When Hurricane Sandy devastated the Northeast portion of the United States in October 2012, millions of residents and business owners throughout New York and New Jersey were left without electricity and other modern conveniences.
However, thanks to solar power technology and some generous non-profit groups deploying solar-powered generators and other solar equipment in the communities most affected by the historic hurricane, some residents were able to turn the power back on – even before local utilities could reconnect the downed power lines.
Solar One, a non-profit clean energy group, deployed solar generators in the Rockaways and Midland Beach on New York’s Staten Island. Solar-power generators brought to those communities allowed volunteers to set up areas where residents could complete insurance paperwork and other documents as well as a free community store, stocked with donated items such as canned food and soap.
Solar power really helped residents get back on their feet.
The solar-powered generators are made of two giant solar panels, each about the size of large dining room tables. The generators were trucked into the area to serve as temporary power sources in the areas that were knocked off the grid by Hurricane Sandy’s intense winds and relentless winds.
In all, Solar One deployed 10 solar-powered generators, which the group has been moving around to storm-damaged areas. Once one site gets powered restored, the group moves the solar generator to other areas still in need of power. The group said it plans to place the generators on the hard-hit areas of Jersey Shore and Long Island soon, to help residents and business owners there still struggling without power.
The use of solar power to return power to areas where utility companies have been knocked out by a hurricane is an excellent example of how solar power is filling the gap left by traditional electrical service. When the electricity utilities in the path of Hurricane Sandy struggled to recover from the historic storm’s wrath, solar power was able to restore power faster and without the harmful emissions associated with utility electrical service.
Just like residents in rural areas that are unable to obtain traditional utility service or urban residents who want to go “off the grid” for environmental or financial reasons, solar power provides a viable and affordable alternative to traditional electrical service.