The Stillwell Avenue Metro Station in Coney Island, N.Y., now features the largest photovoltaic solar electricity system in all of the state. The system, manufactured and installed by Mainz, Germany-based SCHOTT Solar Inc., covers 76,000 square feet and consists of 2,800 thin-film solar modules. The system is integrated into the building, forming the roof of the subway station.
“Stillwell Avenue Station showcases what can be done with photovoltaics today,” said Steve Cohen, product manager of SCHOTT’s architectural glass division. “Solar systems no longer have to be bulky add-ons to a structure anymore; they can become an integral part of it.”
The entire system has a nominal power of approximately 210 kilowatts, which generates an annual output of 250,000 kilowatt-hours that the station uses to offset its power needs. During the summer the system takes care of two-thirds of the station’s power demands, and covers one-sixth of its demands in the winter months.
The thin-film solar panels were selected for the project after a stringent evaluation process in which certain variables, such as material and installation costs, power-generating efficiency and aesthetics, were taken into consideration. The panels also had to meet specific structural and maintenance requirements to be used in the project.