SURVEYOR'S NOTEBOOK

Let The Sun Shine On The Delaware

By Rik van Hemmen

M&O covers quite a range of waterfronts. Some we only visit occasionally (for example, Bahia Blanca, Argentina we visit no more than about once a decade) but others we visit on an almost daily basis.

The Delaware River ports are home turf for us, but every now and then we need to check the internet to make sure we show up at the right gate. Chris Law made such a website visit recently and came across this link:   http://www.holtlogistics.com/riverside-renewable-energy

This was such an interesting link that we copy the picture on it right here:

Yes, that is a huge solar array and we love solar. We even publish solar research on our tech paper webpage.

That is reportedly 9 megawatts of solar cells on the roof of the Gloucester Marine terminal! When the sun is out that generates about 12,000 hp!

The reefer vessel in the picture probably is fitted with an engine in the 12,000 hp range, so it becomes kind of obvious that it is not going to be easy to power ships with the sun, (for ships the higher energy density of wind is the answer) but, regardless, this spread of solar panels is a beautiful thing. Ashore it can pretty much power the whole terminal or power about 1,500 homes. All silently without pollution and simply by filling an unused roof. Why not do that for every large flat roofed building? If we do, our children will thank us.

But that is only part of the story of this picture. There is so much more there. This photo used to contain some of the heaviest use waterfront in the world. It contains the site for the late great New York Shipbuilding (one of the most amazing shipbuilders in the world) on the Camden side of the river, and if you look closely you can see the SS United States tied up on the Philadelphia side, and almost invisibly in the top right corner (the grey fleck below the Ben Franklin Bridge) is the battleship New Jersey. Also in the picture but even less visible is another major US landmark, the USS Olympia. All of it witness to old stories of greatness. Is that sad? Not if you look at the old as a stop on the way to new greatness. Thank goodness we have this old roof that can take these solar panels. Let’s find more.

Congrats, Holt Logistics, you make us proud!

Follow us on Linked In by clicking the “Follow” button on our blog page.