News Release Date: December 17, 2009
The Long Island Power Authority Approves the Largest Solar Energy Project in New York State
LIPA Approves 20-year Power Purchase Agreements with BP Solar and enXco Development Corp. to Generate 50 Megawatts of Renewable Energy on Long Island
Uniondale, NY - Long Island Power Authority President and CEO, Kevin S. Law today announced that the LIPA Board of Trustees approved power purchase agreements (PPAs) with BP Solar International Inc.(BP Solar) and enXco Development Corp. (enXco) thereby creating the state’s largest source of solar power on Long Island. LIPA’s Solar Energy Project will introduce approximately 50MW of clean renewable energy generated on Long Island onto LIPA’s electric grid, enough to power 6,500 households and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 45,300 tons per year as well as reducing other pollutants such as NOX and SOX emissions.
“Today’s approval is great news for Long Island and the entire state of New York,” LIPA President and CEO Kevin S. Law said. “LIPA’s Solar Energy Project is the largest solar project in New York State. I have kept my commitment to Long Island and LIPA’s customers to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency, to diversify our energy portfolio, to reduce our use and dependence on fossil fuels, to stimulate the local economy, to create clean energy jobs, and to help build the solar industry.”
This clean, renewable energy project emanates from Governor David A. Paterson’s Renewable Energy Task Force and furthers the Governor’s 45x15 initiative which established a goal for the state to meet 45 percent of its electricity needs through improved energy efficiency and renewable sources by the year 2015. “I commend Governor Paterson for his leadership in establishing a robust clean energy economy in New York State,” said Law.
“By supporting the creation of the largest solar project in the state, LIPA is reducing carbon dioxide emissions, generating clean energy and reducing New York’s reliance on fossil fuels,” Governor Paterson said. “As outlined in the 2009 State Energy Plan that we released this week, New York will continue to promote renewable energy projects as we work to meet 45 percent of the state’s electricity needs through improved efficiency and renewable sources. Projects like these are critical as we establish a clean energy economy and create the new economy jobs of tomorrow.”
On Tuesday, Governor Paterson accepted the final 2009 State Energy Plan from the New York State Energy Planning Board, a comprehensive blueprint for New York to continue to transition to a clean energy economy over a 10-year planning horizon. The transition to a clean energy economy is a core component of Governor Paterson’s New Economy Jobs Plan, and is expected to create tens of thousands of jobs in New York. The Plan identifies a number of specific policy initiatives, including supporting the development of in-State energy supplies like solar energy and encouraging investment in, and identifying future needs for, energy infrastructure. Both policy objectives are achieved through today’s announcement by LIPA.
In continuing its commitment and recognition to diversify its energy portfolio, LIPA has been named by New York State Solar Energy Industries Association as a leader in the state and by Solar Electric Power Association as a leader in the nation for its longstanding commitment to investing in solar energy for residential and commercial customers. Today, LIPA expands upon that commitment by approving the largest solar project in New York State and among the largest in the country.
“While Long Island is no longer the defense capital of the region this project will pave the way for making Long Island the solar capital of the region,” said Law. “LIPA’s Solar Energy Project is expected to create hundreds of jobs for Long Island and the New York City area.”
In February 2009, LIPA officials announced the results of a competitive procurement process to install photovoltaic arrays, selecting BP Solar and enXco Development Corp as the top two proposers to provide LIPA with capacity, energy and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) from solar arrays to meet LIPA’s renewable energy goals.
LIPA will enter into PPAs with BP Solar and enXco to provide up to 32MW and 17MW of capacity, energy and RECs from their projects. The costs to LIPA under the PPA for BP Solar’s ground-mounted solar project at Brookhaven National Laboratory are estimated to total approximately $298 million (including interconnection costs) over the contracted 20-year term. The costs to LIPA under the PPA for enXco’s solar project on car ports within existing parking lots, at railroad stations and other facilities owned by Suffolk County are estimated to total approximately $125 million (including interconnection costs) over the contracted 20-year term. Both PPAs require the companies to construct, operate and maintain the project and achieve full operation by mid 2011.
The effect of the costs of The Long Island Solar Energy Project to LIPA customers is equivalent to approximately .83 cents per month per customer. To defray some of the costs of the solar project, LIPA is actively pursuing funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in the amount of $15 million dollars and has already secured federal appropriations from Congressman Steve Israel in the amount of $1.75 million. “LIPA's 50 megawatt solar project is a giant leap forward for Long Island. It will create solar energy jobs for Long Islanders rather than sending more of our energy jobs overseas to China. This project will create new opportunities for our local clean energy economy. I'm proud to have secured $1.75 million in federal funding to support this program," said Rep. Israel. LIPA will continue to pursue additional funding opportunities on the state and federal level.
“This is a significant step forward in securing clean, affordable energy for Long Island’s future,” said Rep. Tim Bishop. “As this project demonstrates, the transition to clean energy in America will drive economic growth and create clean energy jobs here at home that can’t be shipped overseas, as well as fostering clean energy industries.”
“We are very pleased to finalize this agreement and move into the next phase of this landmark project, which is expected to create hundreds of jobs and triple Long Island's solar energy production,” said Reyad Fezzani, CEO, BP Solar. “BP Solar is proud to partner with LIPA and the U.S. Department of Energy on this historic clean energy project. It clearly supports our objective to build the larger-scale solar projects needed to make solar a significant U.S. and global energy source.”
“We look forward to partnering with LIPA and Suffolk County to create a win-win for all involved,” said Tristan Grimbert, President & CEO for enXco. “Through this initiative LIPA is facilitating the growth of a robust solar market in NY where LIPA will receive solar power over the next 20 years from enXco. At the same time, Suffolk County as the host for enXco’s solar carport project sites will generate lease revenue and protect parked cars from the elements. This project is a national example of solar carport’s dual-use that creates both added value from dormant parking lots and stimulates the local green economy.”
“Suffolk County shares the goal and vision of LIPA to reduce our carbon emissions and encourage the use of clean, renewable energies,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy. “We are already exploring the use of our larger parking lots for the placement of solar carports, and we stand ready to work with LIPA and its vendors to make a cleaner, greener Long Island.”
“The Department of Energy is committed to renewable energy and our participation in this exciting project is a tangible reflection of that commitment.” said Mike Holland, Manager of the DOE office at Brookhaven National Laboratory. “Solar power-generation projects like this provide a domestic source of clean energy that reduces America’s dependence on foreign oil, diversifies the energy supply, improves air quality, and offsets greenhouse gas emissions. Projects like this also strengthen our economic vitality by creating jobs in solar manufacturing and installation.”
LIPA’s budget, which was also approved at today’s Board meeting, demonstrates that LIPA is operating in a fiscally conservative manner while continuing its leadership and investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. This solar project will continue to advance the use of renewable energy on Long Island as well as position Long Island to respond to New York State’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiatives and new cap and trade legislation anticipated by Congress. LIPA’s Solar Energy Project harmonizes Federal and State energy policy while creating jobs and partnerships among LIPA, municipalities, the Federal Government and the developers of the project. LIPA’s Solar Energy Project builds on the success of its Solar Pioneer Entrepreneur program, which boasts more than 2,300 participants and has resulted in more than $54 million in LIPA rebates since the inception of the program.
Additional Statements of Support
Senator Gillibrand said: “The Long Island Power Authority has been at the forefront of combating global climate change through investments in efficiency and clean energy development. As a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, I am committed to developing new, clean, homegrown sources of energy that will become a vital part of our economic recovery. This project, which is the largest in New York State, will help to cut emissions, improve our environment, and lower our energy bills.”
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy said: “I applaud LIPA’s decision to approve new contracts which will increase solar power on Long Island. “I am proud that the largest solar project in New York State will be on Long Island. Long Island continues to be a leader for not just the state but the country in innovation. The solar project will not only improve our energy efficiency but it is good for the environment and good for national security. “
Senator Darrel J. Aubertine, chair of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, said: This project is a significant investment in our state’s alternative energy infrastructure and I commend the LIPA board for its vision. “These solar power generation projects will move New York State closer to our goals for renewable energy and create jobs in meeting the need for affordable, reliable, diverse and clean energy over the next 20 years and beyond.”
Senator Owen Johnson said: “As a longtime and strong supporter of expanding solar power for generating electricity, I congratulate LIPA on this new solar power initiative. Construction of the new solar facilities will provide jobs at a time when new jobs are desperately needed on Long Island. Environmentally, the 50 mw of solar powered electricity demonstrates LIPA’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gases by burning less fossil fuel to supply power for their customers.”
Senator Kenneth P. LaValle said: “I am pleased that LIPA is attentive to the need for alternative energy sources and is actively pursuing investments in solar power. The purchase agreements announced today are an exciting beginning to moving away from our dependence on fossil fuels and hold out the promise of significantly reduced energy costs for Long Island consumers. However, while solar is certainly our future, we must not abandon our commitment to our existing power facilities.”
Senator Brian X. Foley said: “Today’s announcement is an important step towards energy independence. Bringing these solar projects to Long Island will help generate much needed jobs and put Long Island at the forefront of solar energy. It will also boost our efforts to lower energy bills and help LIPA’s ratepayers.”
Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, Chair of the Assembly Energy Committee, said: “The continued development and application of solar energy technologies is critical as we work towards energy independence in New York State. Solar power is going to play key role in our efforts to both combat climate change and end our reliance on imported fossil fuels. The Long Island Power Authority, under Kevin Law’s leadership, is positioning itself as a national leader in implementing the renewable energy initiatives that will make up the foundation of our energy future.”
Assemblyman Steve Englebright said: “LIPA should be congratulated for designing and implementing this model program. Their leadership on solar technology is a pioneering effort that should be encouraged.”
Suffolk County Legislator Wayne Horsley, Chairman of Economic Development, Higher Education, and Energy, said: “Long Island’s future as a Green Island is here. “As the world argues the effects of greenhouse gases in Copenhagen, leaders from LIPA and Brookhaven National Laboratory are taking action. This project, the largest solar power producer in New York State, marks a historic first step in the future of Long Island’s energy production.”
Sandra Burton, Regional Director (Eastern Region) of the Solar Power Electric Association said, “The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) commends Long Island Power Authority for their 50MW solar project. The project continues to demonstrate LIPA’s leadership in solar energy. LIPA’s expansion of both their residential and commercial solar efforts put them in the 10 top in the United States.”
Gordian Raacke, Executive Director of the not-for-profit organization Renewable Energy Long Island (reLI), said: “Thanks to Governor Paterson’s and Kevin Law’s leadership, New York and Long Island are now gearing up to become the Saudi Arabia of solar energy. These two solar projects will do a lot more than just generate clean, carbon-free electricity; they will provide the power to propel the region’s solar market into utility-scale orbit and boost the residential and small commercial solar market to a much higher level of visibility.”
Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said: “Moving forward with large scale solar power is essential to diversifying and strengthening Long Island’s energy portfolio. Solar power has significant advantages - its emissions free, silent, renewable, home grown and reliable. Congratulations to Governor Paterson and LIPA President Kevin Law for aggressively working to bring Long Island’s energy production into the 21st century. This type of critical leadership on energy issues will help shape a sustainable future for our island.”
Matthew Crosson, President of the Long Island Association said, “We are truly supportive of LIPA’s initiative to provide approximately 50MW of utility scale solar power to Long Island. Projects like these achieve the critical energy policy objectives of reducing the consumption of fossil fuels, reducing pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions and diversifying the energy resources upon which we rely for the generation of electricity.”
Neal Lewis, Executive Director of the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, said: “While all the news out of Copenhagen has been about disagreements and deadlocks, the LIPA Board today has taken concrete action to provide significant commitments to clean renewable energy. Kevin Law and the LIPA Board are providing leadership by action and example, and in the process, demonstrating that committing to renewable energy projects can fight global warming while creating jobs."
Carol E. Murphy, Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY), said: "We applaud LIPA's Board of Trustees for supporting and advancing its energy efficiency and renewable generation initiatives. Programs like Efficiency Long Island, the 50 MW solar initiative, and other renewable generation ventures such as the Long Island-NYC Offshore Wind Project set an excellent example for the rest of the state and the nation. A strong commitment and innovative strategies are essential to building New York's clean energy economy and we commend the exemplary leadership shown today."
Michael E. White, Executive Director of the Long Island Regional Planning Council, said: “With this solar project initiative, LIPA brings Long Island exactly what we need – renewable energy sources, jobs and a cleaner environment”.
Kyle Rabin, Director of the Network for New Energy Choices, said: “This 50-MW solar project illustrates LIPA’s strong commitment to renewable energy and puts Long Island and the state at the forefront of the clean energy revolution. Factoring in the economic and environmental benefits, this is a very smart investment that makes sense for all Long Islanders. It will improve the region’s air quality and reduce the region’s carbon footprint. By decreasing demand on LIPA’s power plants, which use coastal water for cooling, this solar project also has the potential to reduce the plants’ negative impact on aquatic life. We encourage LIPA’s continued leadership on renewable energy and energy efficiency.”
Michael Watt, Executive Vice-President of the Long Island Builder’s Institute, said: “From the development of the MRI to hand-held, bar-code scanners and Maglev trains, Long Island’s history of innovative thinking and entrepreneurial drive makes it a natural leader when it comes to endeavors that benefit society. It is gratifying and encouraging to see the Long Island Power Authority tap into that energy with a project of this magnitude with the upside that will reduce our dependency on foreign oil as well as the region’s carbon footprint.”
R. Sail Van Nostrand, Chairman of the Long Island Solar Energy Industries Association said, “The leadership exemplified by Kevin Law and his staff in transforming the solar industry to be there and ready, when the new “Green Economy” takes hold is to be admired and commended. Your continued support of these programs year after year is essential to stabilizing energy pricing, expanding green jobs and meeting the power needs of our community in an environmentally enlightened way. We applaud LIPA’s vision in pursuing the 50MW Main Tier PPA’s, and encourage you to consider more ways to expand the use of solar resources here on Long Island.”
Jennifer Rimmer, Deputy Director of Sustainable Long Island said, “Sustainable Long Island applauds LIPA for these two bold initiatives. There has long been a need to provide increased incentives for Long Islanders to invest in renewable and the additional funding for the Efficiency Long Island Program is key. LIPA's Solar Energy Project promises to make our air cleaner, our LIPA bills lower over time and our nation safer by reducing our reliance on dirty fossil fuels from nations which may threaten our long-term national security.”
Roger Clayman, Executive Director for Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, said: "LIPA's agreements represent an important step forward for Long Island and its workforce. “It is our expectation that solar energy will create new union jobs in construction and maintenance for many years to come and will contribute to a cleaner environment."
LIPA, a non-profit municipal electric provider, owns the retail electric Transmission and Distribution System on Long Island and provides electric service to more than 1.1 million customers in Nassau and Suffolk counties and the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens. LIPA is the 2nd largest municipal electric utility in the nation in terms of electric revenues, 3rd largest in terms of customers served and the 7th largest in terms of electricity delivered. In 2011, LIPA outperformed all other overhead electric utilities in New York State for frequency and duration of service interruptions. LIPA does not provide natural gas service or own any on-island generating assets. More information about LIPA can be found online at http://www.lipower.org.Back to top