One day solar power will be integrated into the very fabric of buildings, in the paints and windows that cover them. But for now, such building integrated photovoltaics (BIPVs) will have to be solar panels like those that Quixotic Systems installed at the Urban Health Plan’s (UHP’s) Simpson Pavilion in the Bronx in New York City.
The new, BIPV solar wall is a 37-kilowatt solar array on the south side of the building consisting of SunPower solar panels. The panels will power operations at the Simpson Pavilion where the nonprofit health care provider provides adults with medicine, a walk-in clinic, pediatrics, behavioral health and OB/GYN. It also has a gym for patients and a teaching kitchen for nutrition education.
“The UHP installation represents the kind of creative solar solutions that can be designed for even the most urban environments,” said Gerry Heimbuch, vice president of Quixotic Systems Inc. “We are proud to be at the forefront of helping fight climate change and moving New York to a clean energy future.”
The array, unlike most, is installed on the side of a four-story building rather than on its roof, which has limited space. Since it’s facing south and is vertically oriented it produces the most power in the winter rather than in the summer. Also, since it’s vertically oriented it will be even less affected by snow than other solar arrays. The solar array is expected to reduce the center’s electric use by 10 percent and will save it an estimated $230,000 over the next 25 years.
“We’re a progressive organization, so everything we do—from providing care, to employing people to our energy efficiency efforts—we do the best we can,” said Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez, president and CEO of Urban Health Plan. “Adding this distinctive solar system not only helps our environment; it saves money that we can put back into services for our community.”
The organization has a goal to reduce its reliance on fossil fuel as part of its mission to improve the health of communities, it said. The 54,000-square-foot facility is LEED-Gold certified, making more energy efficient than most other buildings. It achieved that by including sustainably sourced and recycled building materials as well as using highly efficient heating, cooling and lighting systems. It also has a “green roof” with 2,000 square feet of plants that reduce heat in the building and reduce storm water runoff.Tweet