New York Launches Largest Commercial PV Site

A public / private partnership in New York state will produce the largest application in the world of solar power by a single commercial enterprise.

NEW YORK, New York, US, 2001-05-09 <> The Fala Direct DM Group will install a 1.5 megawatt photovoltaic system this summer at its facilities in Farmingdale and Melville, saving 19 percent of the company’s energy bill. The project is an integral part of efforts by the Long Island Power Authority to meet the region’s growing electric energy needs by using renewable energy resources. “New York State continues to lead the nation in promoting new and alternative energy sources that help protect and enhance the quality of our environment,” says Governor George Pataki in announcing the project last month. “This project demonstrates that solar power can be a practical and environmentally beneficial way to meet the electric needs of large commercial businesses on Long Island and throughout New York State.” “Whether its solar power or geothermal technology, we must continue to expand the menu of energy options for all New Yorkers,” he adds. Fala is a private direct marketing company. It will install a 7,800 PV panels of varying sizes on the roofs of three of its buildings, as part of an initiative to demonstrate the use of solar power. LIPA will provide a $4.5 million grant to help underwrite the capital cost of the$9.3 million system, which will generate 1.5 MW of power during peak periods. “Governor Pataki should be praised for creating the Clean Energy Initiative, and LIPA and the Fala DM Group for joining together to demonstrate the effectiveness of these energy efficient systems,” says Senator Carl Marcellino, Chairman of the Senate Environmental Committee. “The LIPA/Fala Photovoltaic project will be a dynamic demonstration of state of the art energy technologies and New York State’s commitment to the use of clean on-site energy applications.” “Our decision to implement an alternative energy solution such as the solar photovoltaic array was predicated on several factors,” explains Fala president and CEO Jeffrey Jurick. “As third-generation Long Islanders, we are committed to the Long Island community and important quality of life issues. We have long demonstrated our involvement in other critical areas such as healthcare and education, and are now taking a strong stand on behalf of the environment.” Fala consumes 11,500 MWh of electricity each year. The PV system will generate 2,100 MWh, which the company will consume on-site or sell back to LIPA. The company has 750 employees at three facilities comprising 300,000 square feet of space. LIPA stands to gain a significant amount of first-hand data regarding the large-scale application of renewable energy technologies in a high technology setting. The utility serves 1.1 million electric consumers, and demand is growing at 3.2 percent a year, or almost twice the state average. Funding for the solar project will come from LIPA’s Clean Energy Initiative, a multi-year $170 million program to promote energy conservation and the development of solar, wind, fuel cells and geothermal energies on Long Island. The initiative was created by Governor Pataki in 1997 to help lower electric rates on Long Island, which at the time were the highest in the U.S. Through the initiative, LIPA has been engaged in developing the use of renewables and has initiated a Solar Pioneer program to spur the use of residential solar units and has installed 31 units. It is also co-funding a technical support and training program at SUNY Farmingdale to encourage wider use of solar power by building trade allies. “Clean sources of energy, including solar, wind and fuel cell technology, are becoming increasingly important in New York’s strategy to meet the growing demand for power while protecting public health and our environment and natural resources,” says Commissioner Erin Crotty of the State Department of Environmental Conservation. “As we look toward the future of power generation in New York, we will continue to work with industry and others to promote Governor Pataki’s alternative energy initiatives.” “During these times of soaring energy prices and diminishing resources, I am very proud that a Long Island business is at the forefront of the public/private partnership between New York State, the Long Island Power Authority and the Fala Direct DM Group that will result in one of the largest applications of solar power technology,” adds Assemblyman Steve Labriola. “Thanks to Governor Pataki’s Clean Energy Initiative and LIPA’s commitment to renewable sources of power, the LIPA/Fala Photovoltaic Project could develop into the strategy that demonstrates solar power may be a practical and environmentally beneficial answer to meeting our electric needs.” “We are extremely pleased that Fala is taking such a leadership role in helping to develop the application of solar power systems at commercial facilities on Long Island,” adds LIPA chairman Richard Kessel.

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