CYCA board plans bright future for iconic trestle

Daurie Schwartz with Schwartz Electric installs LED lights on the sculpture in February.

Daurie Schwartz with Schwartz Electric installs LED lights on the sculpture in February.

We know many of you have been wondering what is wrong with the Cooper-Young trestle at night. Where are the lights? We spent a lot of money to add solar power and there is sun! So what is up? I have to laugh to keep from crying in this situation, but here is the nitty-gritty and what will be happening to really do right by the trestle.

The Cooper Young Community Association worked with Schwartz Electric (who has been wonderful I want to make clear!) and Sharp USA’s solar department to install the solar panels initially. I don’t want to place any blame anywhere, but Sharp, as you may have heard, shut down their solar department several months ago. Timing is everything, they say. I am not a real techie person, but it seems the first set of batteries was faulty. This was the most expensive part of the installation. They would not hold a charge, so when it was cloudy for a couple of days they would lose their charge and were so low on power they could not power back up. I do not understand the ins and outs, but some of the equipment that was specified for the project would not have worked in this application because of the ongoing maintenance that was needed. The trestle does need maintenance but not on a weekly or monthly basis, and some of the equipment would have potentially needed that kind of upkeep.

Enough about the past. Let’s talk about the future. We have now started working with LightWave Solar and Schwartz Electric. We have a few more kinks to work out and get approved, but there will be some changes to the solar equipment that will require little or no maintenance for 3 to 5 years, which is a doable situation for Cooper Young Community Association. We have made great strides with making the trestle much more efficient, but now with the new addition we will possibly be able to provide power back to MLGW. After the last installation, the board has been asking a lot of questions this time because we want to get this right. Please be patient while we insure that the right upgrades are done for the longevity of this wonder piece of art that watches over Cooper Young. — Debbie Sowell

Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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