New York City's Department of Corrections currently has 139 plug-in electric or solar fleet units. That makes up 20% of its total on and off-road fleet of 689 vehicles and equipment.  -  Photo: NYC DCAS/Government Fleet

New York City's Department of Corrections currently has 139 plug-in electric or solar fleet units. That makes up 20% of its total on and off-road fleet of 689 vehicles and equipment.

Photo: NYC DCAS/Government Fleet

The New York City Department of Correction (DOC) has expanded its fleet's solar infrastructure with the fleet's first solar canopy project. A solar canopy, produced by iSun, was installed at Rikers Island.

The canopy is the first one installed by a department managed under New York's Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS). DCAS has implemented one of the nation's largest programs of free-standing solar carports, according to a press release. After DCAS introduced DOC to the solar canopy project, the department took the lead on installing the canopy under DCAS' oversight.

The canopy is different than DCAS' solar carports. The carports are single-vehicle units that are not tied to facilities or the electric grid. The canopy at Rikers Island is affixed to the grid and the ground, enabling full-time electric charging powered by the sun during the day and the electric grid in the evening. The solar canopy and charging can support up to six vehicles simultaneously. The solar panels are warrantied for 30 years, which will help the unit pay for itself in time.

Growing Electric Fleet

DOC currently has 139 plug-in electric or solar fleet units. That makes up 20% of its total on and off-road fleet of 689 vehicles and equipment. DOC operates Ford Mustang Mach-Es, Chevy Bolts, and plug-in hybrids like the Prius Prime. The agency is currently receiving its first Ford E-Transit all-electric cargo vans and has three all-electric correction buses on order.

In addition to the new solar canopy, DCAS partnered with DOC to install four DC fast chargers, with six more planned to be installed before the end of fiscal year 2023. DCAS has helped DOC install 27 level 2 chargers with 54 ports in total. Currently, there are an additional 12 installations in progress. DOC also operates solar carports to support additional charging infrastructure.

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