Thieves swiped more than $100,000 in solar equipment donated to power vehicles and equipment in Brooklyn Bridge Park, including 24 solar panels and 30 storage-cell batteries. The goods were a gift to BBP in 2011 from Red Hook-based green-energy company Beautiful Earth Group.
The New York Post reports that the charging station had been set up at decommissioned steel shipping containers by Pier 1 near Furman Street in Brooklyn Heights. It was used to power the park’s fleet of electric vehicles, and officials were hoping to use it to power private vehicles and park patrons’ cell phones and laptops. With the upcoming hotel & housing complex soon set to break ground, park officials were planning to relocate the equipment to the other side of the park on Atlantic Avenue near Pier 6.
A portable classroom that Beautiful Earth Group also donated for public environmental lessons wasn’t stolen and will be moved to Pier 6.
Cops believe the thug used a truck and ladder to pull off the heist since the equipment taken was very heavy, sources said. Brooklyn Bridge Park spokeswoman Teresa Gonzalez says the only impact the crime will have “on park operations is that we will no longer be able to charge our electric vehicles from an off-the-grid” solar-charging station and will instead have to rely on “electricity that runs to our buildings.”
With production of 5.6 kilowatts, the station stored enough energy to power a small home. “This is one of the biggest thefts in a city park in a very long time, “ said Cobble Hill activist Judi Francis.