25-foot ‘ecopole’ installed in front of Community Garden downtown

03/06/2012 1:00 PM |

TIM GANNON PHOTO | the top of the 'eopole' in downtown Riverhead.

An “ecopole” was installed Tuesday in front of the River and Roots Community Garden on West Main Street.

The 25-foot high pole has two 180-watt solar panels on each side of it, and a 300-watt micro wind turbine on top to generate both solar and wind energy, which in turn operates a 60-watt LED street light on the pole.

A Baltimore company called SavWatt USA is installing it for free in order to draw attention to the product.

The wind turbine, which is about six-feet tall itself, is made out of rubber.

Yacov Tkachman, a customer support manager at SavWatt, said this is so that birds won’t get injured if they fly into the turbine.

He said most of the energy generated on the pole will come from the solar panels, rather than the wind. The turbine also doesn’t have blades and doesn’t make noise, like the larger wind turbines that have been installed on some farms locally.

The pole is entirely self-powered and powers only the one street light, so it doesn’t need to be hooked into the LIPA power grid.

tgannon@timesreview.com