White House Author
Walter Meyer (Power Rockaway Resilience)
Together with a group of designers, sustainability experts, and solar engineers, Walter Meyer, an urban designer based in Brooklyn, New York, helped form the community-based organization “Power Rockaways Resilience.” Days after Hurricane Sandy, while gas generators sat idle due to a fuel shortage, the group began delivering hand-built, shopping-cart-sized solar generators to the hardest-hit blocks of the Rockaway peninsula, a barrier island off New York City that bore the brunt of a 14-foot tidal surge topped by three-story-high waves. This small-scale initial effort grew, and with the help of a nationwide fundraising campaign, Power Rockaways Resilience oversaw the widespread installation of large-scale solar generators at relief centers and volunteer hubs. The use of solar power to keep lights shining and helping hands working throughout the darkest days of the storm has inspired peninsula-wide interest in alternative energy technologies, and Power Rockaways Resilience is still on the ground connecting solar suppliers and installers with Rockaway businesses and residents seeking to rebuild for a more sustainable, resilient future.