New York Launches Major Project on Earth Energy

Eleven projects using ground-source heat pumps will rebate US$1 million to commercial customers in New York state.

RIVERHEAD, New York, US, 2001-12-21 [SolarAccess.com] “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. “Geothermal technology offers one of the most environmentally-friendly means of heating and cooling buildings, while also lowering energy costs for New York’s consumers.” The projects are sponsored by the Long Island Power Authority and will save customers $200,000 each year in electricity costs. The eleven sites are in Suffolk and Nassau counties and the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, and the systems must be installed by next year. “This promising technology can play an important role in our efforts to ensure we have the power we need to continue to create jobs and offer consumers new ways to save money,” says Pataki. “Whether its solar power or geothermal technology, we must continue to expand the menu of energy options for all New Yorkers.” The earth energy units will save half a megawatt of electricity during peak periods, or 1.4 million kWh of power a year. The reduction will help LIPA stretch its available electricity supply. “The use of geothermal power at Atlantis Marine World has proven to be an efficient and cost effective energy source,” says senator Kenneth Lavalle. “The systems will provide significant savings to the consumer and help LIPA meet Long Island’s energy demand. It is my hope that, as we improve and expand upon alternative energy resources, Long Island will be in a better position to meet future energy needs.” “New York is paving the way in the reduction of electricity costs that will serve as a model for the rest of the nation,” adds senator Carl Marcellino. “Alternative energy sources, which are less expensive and cleaner, are a plus for the economy and a plus for the environment.” The water temperature in a tank of sharks is controlled by the heat pumps at the Atlantis Marine World in Riverhead, which includes placards to explain the technology to visitors. LIPA encouraged the use of earth energy when the facility was being designed and, since its installation, Atlantis has saved $20,000 in energy costs and received a $52,500 rebate from LIPA for installing the geothermal system. “As the demand for energy increases, New York needs to take a leadership role in securing alternative energy technologies that are both clean and cost-effective,” says assemblywoman Patricia Acampora. “Long Island’s geothermal heating and cooling projects are an excellent example of the new technologies that have come to fruition because of Governor Pataki’s Clean Energy Initiative.” Pataki directed the implementation of LIPA’s Clean Energy Initiative as part of the purchase of LILCO’s electric transmission and distribution system. The five-year $170 million initiative provides technical assistance and financial incentives to commercial customers who use earth energy technology for heating and cooling. The program provides rebates and incentives to residential and commercial customers to save electricity, and promotes the development of wind, solar and fuel cells. “Geothermal systems are a proven alternative energy technology that can help reduce the demand for electricity, save electric customers money, and reduce emissions from fossil fuel-powered generating plants,” says LIPA chairman Richard Kessel. “LIPA’s Clean Energy Initiative is a prime example of how electric utilities in New York State can work with customers to incorporate alternative, renewable energy technologies in their development plans.” “The geothermal system that controls the temperatures in our shark tank and other display tanks makes perfect sense from both environmental and economic perspectives,” says James Bissett of Atlantis Marine World. “It’s in keeping with the environmental lessons we seek to teach and our desire to conserve resources while keeping our operating costs as low as possible.” The other geothermal systems will be installed in a high school, an assisted living facility for seniors, a senior housing project, a low income housing complex, the South Folk Natural History Museum, a Marriott hotel, a nature conservancy, the police station in Southampton Village, and in the library of Southampton College.

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