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SESSION: RECOVERY & RESILIENCY AFTER SANDY (2). Improving Resiliency and Reducing Environmental Impact with Distributed Renewable Energy Solutions. Tyler Adkins, Urban Green Energy.

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Improving Resiliency and Reducing Environmental Impact with Distributed Renewable Energy Solutions

Tyler Adkins, Urban Green Energy

With the increasing frequency of extreme weather events and aging grid infrastructure, reliable energy systems are more important than ever. Compared with the conventional grid-tied alternative, on-site renewable energy systems provide a wide range of benefits, including:

Energy security

• Off-grid solutions work 365 days (and nights) of the year, unaffected by grid outages

• Hybrid wind/solar energy systems are complementary and provide ultimate reliability

• Smart energy storage systems ensure uptime

Energy cost

• Reduce monthly energy bills & exposure to energy price volatility

• Smart electronics allow for remote monitoring and control – eliminate costly site visits, minimize


• Upgrade existing systems without interference with roadways, plumbing, fire hydrants, or other networks

• Avoid cost and hassle of connecting to utility grid


• Meet sustainability goals by powering systems with clean energy of wind and sun

• Contribute toward LEED points for on-site renewable energy

• Outsized environmental impact: 1 kWh of on-site energy = 3 kWh power plant energy

• Highly visible sustainability statement

New York City-based Urban Green Energy is providing distributed renewable energy solutions for governments, institutions, corporations and others, in more than 80 countries.

Tyler Adkins is the director of outdoor lighting solutions at Urban Green Energy, a NYC-based renewable energy solution provider. UGE puts users in control of their energy source by deploying hybrid wind, solar and storage solutions for use in off-grid lighting applications, enterprise solutions, and telecom towers in more than 80 countries around the world. From parking lot lighting in Brooklyn, to large infrastructure projects in the developing world, Tyler leads UGE's efforts to engage government, institutional, and commercial clients in understanding the economic, sustainability and energy security benefits of renewable-powered lighting solutions.

 Tyler holds an M.Sc in Sustainability Science from Lund University, Sweden and moved to New York City in October 2012 - the day before Superstorm Sandy exposed the dire need for more resilient, robust, and sustainable infrastructure. 


TRB Summer Conference: Improving Energy Security & Sustainability with Distributed Renewable EnergyTyler Adkins- June 18, 2014


Distributed renewable energy overview

Case Study: Renewable-powered off-grid lighting


uge is a leader in distributed renewable energy dre solutions
UGE is a Leader in Distributed Renewable Energy (DRE) Solutions

1,500 installations deployed in 90 countries

  • End-to-End Solutions Approach


New York



UGE Sales Locations

UGE Office Locations

centralized vs distributed power production
Centralized vs. Distributed Power Production

Transmission Lines Carry Electricity Long Distances

Power Plant

Generates Electricity

Distribution Lines Carry Electricity To Houses

Transformers On Poles Step Down Electricity Before It Enters Houses

Transformer Steps Up Voltage For Transmission

Neighborhood Transformer Steps Down Voltage

why distributed renewable energy
Why Distributed Renewable Energy?

Every facility in the world has an energy deficiency that is a mix of energy security, energy cost, and sustainability

Energy Security


Energy Cost

energy security
Energy Security

Increasing frequency of extreme weather events and aging grid infrastructure systems mean reliable energy systems are more important than ever

  • Hybrid wind/solar systems ensure ultimate reliability
  • Smart electronics provide continued service, even when grid is unavailable
case study new caledonia microgrid
Case Study New Caledonia: Microgrid

Project Overview

The New Caledonia Telecom microgrid allows for constant uptime and minimal operating expenditure

Project Details

Located: Île Ouen, New Caledonia

Installed: January 2014

Solar PV: 6kW

Wind Turbine: 1kW

Storage: 2500Ah 48V VRLA Gel battery bank

ROI: 1.5 Years

energy cost
Energy Cost

On-site energy systems reduce or eliminate monthly energy bills & exposure to energy price volatility

Financed options allow for cost savings from day 1 with no risk, upfront cost, or maintenance obligation

Energy prices are volatile and rising, which leaves customers vulnerable to unforeseen price increases and unable to budget with confidence

case study city of pingquan renewable powered off grid lighting
Case Study City of PingQuan: Renewable-Powered Off-Grid Lighting

Project Overview

The PingQuan highway is lit by UGE’s off-grid lighting solutions that reduced upfront construction costs, have no ongoing energy requirement, and serve as a high visibility welcome for visitors to the city.

Project Details

Location: PingQuan, Hebei Province, China

Completed December, 2012

UGE Solution vs. Traditional Lighting - $550,000 vs. $560,000 up front

Ongoing savings: >$200,000 over the 20+ year lifetime


Renewable portfolio standards (RPS), SREC markets, & carbon credits support increased adoption

On-site energy has an outsized environmental impact (ratio of 3:1 kWh in New York)

Contribute toward LEED certification

Highly visible sustainability statement

Performance mandates and sustainability plans increasingly drive the adoption of on-site renewable energy

case study whole foods market on site energy and off grid lighting
Case Study Whole Foods Market: On-Site Energy and Off-Grid Lighting

Project Overview

Whole Foods is pursuing LEED platinum certification for their “store of the future” concept at the new location in Brooklyn, NY. The site includes a wide range of recycled materials, efficiency measures, and on-site renewable energy, including:

300 kW Solar Canopy – Power Purchase Agreement = no initial investment, technology risk, or maintenance costs

Off-grid lighting systems – Minimize installation costs, eliminate ongoing energy cost, 100% uptime

EV charging stations – Wind-powered charging stations for electric vehicles


Off-Grid Lighting

three main challenges for outdoor lighting projects
Three Main Challenges for Outdoor Lighting Projects

High CAPEX: Extending underground grid power to site is largest share of installation costs

High OPEX: Ongoing energy bill is often the largest lifetime cost

High uncertainty: Energy price volatility makes budgeting and planning difficult. System operation is 100% reliant on grid availability

off grid solutions a better model for lighting infrastructure
Off-Grid Solutions – A Better Model for Lighting Infrastructure

Cost savings from Day 1: Avoid cost & headache associated with trenching and grid interconnection

Complete cost certainty: No ongoing electricity bill eliminates exposure to energy price volatility

Energy security & sustainability: Powered by wind and sun; more reliable than grid infrastructure and unaffected by grid outages




Director, Outdoor Lighting Solutions


Phone: (917) 267-7360

330 W 38th Street, Suite 1103

New York, NY, USA 10018