Pin It
Solar Press ConferenceFuture and Past? A portable solar array was parked in front of the coal-powered Cayuga power Plant last week to provide electricity for an announcement of a new 18 megawatt solar farm to be built on Cayuga Operating company property in Lansing

The big Lansing story last week was the announcement of an 18 megawatt solar farm on 75 acres of land at the Cayuga Power Plant in Lansing.  Cayuga Operating Company officials were joined by elected officials, Chamber of Commerce, and union officials to tell the story of how the company will embark on the next generation of power generation.  The solar facility will generate enough electricity to power 3,100 homes.  But the press conference also needed power.  The story behind the story was that the event was powered, appropriately, by a portable solar array.

"It's meant as a demonstration of what we do," says QuikSolar Partner Ryan Wallace, who provided a portable solar array to power the event.  "On a daily basis we connect homes and businesses to solar.  This project that Cayuga Solar's doing is going to connect the equivalent of 3,100 homes to the grid, or the equivalent of 12,000 of these trailers."

The trailer-mounted solar array is made from 18 solar panels that produced 4,500 watts for the event -- plus a backup battery.  It not only provided enough power for the lighting and sound equipment, but simultaneously recharged Wallace's car while the press conference was held.  There were thunderstorms before and after the event, but Wallace was unperturbed.

"We can handle some overcast.  The interesting thing about solar is that we actually produce decent power in overcast," he said.  "It has to be a dark rainstorm to not produce any power.  As long as we can see 100 yards away we're producing some power."

QuikSolar Solar Powered Press Conference18 solar panels produced 4,500 watts for the official announcement of the 18 megawatt Cayuga Solar array. A large screen to one side of the audience monitored the portable solar array's output during the event.

The battery backup would have provided power if it were needed, but the sun came out and stayed out for the duration of the event.  Wallace says that each 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 foot panel on the portable array is capable of generating about 300 watts.

QuikSolar is interested in being one of the contractors chosen to build the Cayuga Solar array.  Wallace says his company has skilled, knowledgeable, and safety-oriented union employees with plenty of experience installing and maintaining solar facilities including his own 4 megawatt solar farm in Geneva, NY that generates enough power for 800 homes.  He provided the solar trailer at no cost, and while that will certainly raise Cayuga Solar's awareness of his company when the bidding starts, he says he likes to support any event that promotes renewable energy.

"We're just focused on any event that is about solar, that is about renewables," he says.  "We're interested in any events that are talking about the diversification of the grid.  I'm a big fan of the all of the above energy solution.  We have solar, we have wind, we have coal, natural gas... as we start to integrate more battery systems we can start letting some of those carbon based systems start going offline."

QuickSolar Partner Ryan WallaceQuickSolar Partner Ryan Wallace

The portable solar array has been used to provide electricity to various fairs and festivals in the Geneva area, including a Christmas Tree in the town.  But he says the Cayuga Solar event was the first press conference it has powered.

"We were interested in the broader project," he says.  "We just want to help the project move forward.  We offered the trailer to help power the event.  We're obviously interested in being part of the larger project.  We work with the local electrical unions, and we're a union shop.  We just offered our services for free to help promote this great event."

Pin It