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For Immediate Release: July 12, 2013

LIPA Announces Major New Plans for Additional Solar Energy for Long Island

Clean Solar Initiative-II seeks 40MW on East End circuits to increase reliability

Uniondale, N.Y.—Building off the success of its first Clean Solar Initiative feed-in tariff, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) has begun the process to bring online an additional 100 megawatts (MW) of solar energy through its Clean Solar Initiative-II (CSI-II) program. The new program provides significant enhancements to LIPA’s existing program.

Consistent with its utility-scale, customer-sided, and first feed-in tariff solar programs, all 100 MW will be generated on Long Island, further advancing the development of solar energy and the growth of clean energy jobs. The project is enough to power roughly about 13,000 homes.

The 100 MW from CSI-II builds upon LIPA’s first program with a portion of the 100 MW targeting the South Fork on the East End in order to reduce load on constrained areas. To encourage solar investment in areas of the South Fork that will provide the greatest benefits to the LIPA electric system, a solar price premium of approximately 7 cents per kilowatt-hour will be available for projects built in the designated areas located east of LIPA’s Canal Substation in Southampton. Reducing the load constraint in this area will help defer, reduce or eliminate the need to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in building new generation, infrastructure, and transmission and distribution lines.

“This next generation of LIPA’s Clean Solar Initiative is envisioned to bring additional clean energy resources on Long Island, diversifying and cleaning Long Island’s energy supply and deferring investments in the power grid,” said LIPA chief operating officer John D. McMahon. “LIPA continues to fulfill our commitment to be a leader in the advancement of efficiency and renewable energy.”

CSI-II builds on LIPA’s Solar Pioneer and Entrepreneur programs that have helped create and sustain an industry providing rebates for the installation of more than 6,500 residential and commercial solar systems, and the development of a 32MW solar farm at Brookhaven National Lab and solar carports on Suffolk County parking lots.

CSI-II will precede two additional clean energy projects to be released before year end 2013. In one, LIPA staff is developing another feed-in tariff to allow for wind, fuel cells and other renewable resources to fill an additional 20MW block of renewable energy. In the other, LIPA is preparing a Request for Proposals for up-to-280 MW of renewable energy.

Following public input and LIPA Board of Trustees action, it is anticipated that applications for participation in CSI-II will be accepted starting September 30, 2013 with the rate being set through a bidding process. Applicants bid a price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the energy that they will deliver from their project. The applications will be accepted throughout the approximately 120 day application period (September 30, 2013 through January 31, 2014). The final price for the winning bidders will be fixed for 20 years.

“This is yet another major milestone in Long Island’s solar energy history. When completed, Long Island will have a distributed solar power plant which will generate reliable and clean electricity for decades to come, using our abundant sunshine instead of fossil fuels,” said Gordian Raacke, executive director of the not-for-profit organization Renewable Energy Long Island. “Solar electric systems are a proven technology not only for individual rooftop installations but also for larger, utility-scale applications.”

“The expansion of Clean Solar Initiative is yet another signal that clean local energy benefits both consumers and utilities,” said Craig Lewis, executive director of the Clean Coalition. “Furthermore, LIPA’s recognition that distributed solar provides at least 7 cents per kilowatt-hour in avoided transmission and central generation costs makes clear to the rest of the country that the locational value of wholesale distributed generation is undeniable and significant.”

CSI-II incorporates some important lessons learned from CSI-I like providing viable proof of site control at time of application, limiting size of projects to 2MW, and allowing time for public entities to procure service and file applications.

“The Long Island Solar Energy Industry Association (LISEIA) commends LIPA and is pleased to be working alongside of them on their Clean Energy Initiatives,” said LISEIA chairman Bill Feldman. “LIPA’s CSI-II is yet another example of LIPA's ongoing commitment to a sustainable energy infrastructure.”

The Clean Solar Initiative-II features:

  • Price competition in lieu of administratively determined fixed price
  • Adequate time for public entities to fulfill procurement requirements and provide complete applications with bids
  • Geographically targeted to load constrained areas through locational premium on South Fork of East End
  • Project size limited to  systems between 100kW-to-2,000kW per application
  • Term Sheet with site owner required with project application

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.

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