Columbia Students Build Solar Generator

What started as a green idea to fuel a cross-country trip is now serving as a clean energy source in the Rockaways.

Garrett Fitzgerald and Rob van Haaren, two Ph.D. student engineers at Columbia University, developed a portable solar generator that was used to power a church after Sandy. It's now being used to fuel an arts exhibition space between Beach 94th and Beach 95th streets.

"We just want it to get used and we want people to see the functionality of solar energy," Fitzgerald said.

"It's always good to have some electricity and that you don't have to rely on gasoline generators," van Haaren added.

The solar unit is being used to help power a large, white dome in the Rockaways set up by MoMA's PS1, now through June.