Going Green a Priority For NBPA This Year

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The New Brunswick Parking Authority's Executive Director Mitch Karon told the authority's board that "going green" will be a focus of his this year.

One new initiative Karon hopes will incentivize electric car ownership is the installation of charging stations for electric vehicles in two of the authority's parking decks.

Two charging stations will be installed at the Wellness Plaza garage, while another will be placed in the Gateway Center garage.

Each charging station, provided by a company called Juice Bar, will cost the authority $10,000 and provide free electricity hook-ups for four cars at a time via 22-foot cords.

While the new stations are to be free for users, they might eventually be able to accept credit and debit cards and integrated with New Brunswick Parking Authority’s existing parking payment system.

Juice Bar says that it owes its success to the high visibility and large amount of floor space of its charging stations. Those factors increase the stations' advertising potential and make them able to accommodate new technologies.

Juice Bar won the "Sustainable Industries" Top 10 Green Building Products award, the only electric vehicle charging station company to do so.

The new stations would be listed by Underwriters Laboratories, manufactured in the USA from recycled materials, rated for use both indoors and outdoors, with an output of 240 volts at 7.2 kilowatt-hour. The stations would have 22-foot cords and be lit by LEDs. 

The station will support both level 1 and level 2 electric cars.  Most electric cars come with a level 1 power cord, but level 2 is faster and higher-voltage.

The authority has already taken steps to make the city a local leader in solar power technology, installing income-generating solar cells on top of two public parking garages, the Plum Street Deck and New Street Deck, as part of the largest municipal public solar project in New Jersey.

Because Mays Landing-based Energenic owns, operates, and sells electricity from the solar arrays, the panels themselves did not cost taxpayers anything and brings in revenue for the city and board of education.

The authority also earned recognition for its greening efforts late last year when Walker Reid Strategies, an engineering company, gave it an "EPAct Gives Back" energy efficiency award for lighting upgrades installed in several of its garages.

The NBPA's electric lighting strategies exceeded the requirements of the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005, according to Walker Reid.  The new lights were installed at Paterson Street Deck, Morris Street Deck, Lower Church Street Deck, New Street Deck, and Plum Street Deck.

Those lights reduced energy consumption at the garages, helping to lower pollution associated with electricity generation.  As a result, city taxpayers saved $140,413 last year, and the city reduced the carbon emissions by 540 tons.

Rutgers University also received an award last year for lighting on its New Brunswick campus.  New Brunswick uses fluorescent lighting and some sodium vapor lamps, while Rutgers decided to install mercury vapor lighting at its renovated facilities.

Walker Reid Strategies specializes in certifications for tax deductions under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and it also operates a program called EPAct Gives Back. This program rewards parking lot owners, typically large institutions, for energy efficiency practices. 

Reporter at New Brunswick Today

Richard researched transportation, land use, history, and other topics. Investigated site plans. Attended public meetings (planning board, zoning board, parking authority board of directors, City Council) to record and help determine what was discussed. Analyzed blueprints and site plans to determine what land uses sites would be put to. Photographed sites that would be affected by proposed projects, as well as sites involved in news events. Employed Sketchup CAD to visualize new land uses, such as buildings and structures. Critiqued and wrote articles in fast-paced work environment, writing before deadlines. Made judgments as to what constituted proper material to include in articles. Created a zoning map; am working on ways to show it to the public. Consulted vintage maps to determine historic land uses.