The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's New York City Transit and the state New York Power Authority agreed Feb. 8 on the installation of a natural gas-powered 200-kilowatt generator in the facility being constructed next to the aging Casey Stengel Bus Depot in Flushing Meadows Corona Park."Though this is our first fuel cell installation, it represents another step in our continuing commitment to sustainable transit development in terms of its social, economic and environmental impact," NYC Transit President Lawrence Reuter said.Officials projected that the fuel cell will save the site 3,800 barrels of oil per year through a process that produces electricity through a nearly emission-free chemical reaction. Energy is created through the combination of hydrogen and oxygen which creates only heat and water as byproducts in contrast to combustion, which produces gases harmful to the environment.This is not the first facility to use natural power as an energy source. NYC Transit has used solar energy to provide power to a Maspeth warehouse facility since 1993, officials said.The project in Corona was part of a statewide goal to have 25 percent of the energy come from renewable sources by 2013. In addition to the power generator, the three-story building will have solar panel roof cells, natural light and ventilation, motion detector light switches and a storm water retention system to wash the No. 7 subway car fleet, which is served by the Corona depot.The residual heat from the cell will be used to heat a hot water system for the building, officials said. Through all the benefits in the design, transit officials estimate the building will use 36 percent less energy over the life of the facility.Officials expect installation to begin in mid-February.Reach reporter Adam Pincus by e-mail at news@times
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