Long Island’s four newest power plants are now on line. But don’t look for smoke stacks or steel-towered power lines. Just look on the roofs of four BJ’s Wholesale Clubs, where sun-powered electricity plants are now producing electricity, thanks to a partnership between two Massachusetts-based companies – Conservation Services Group (CSG) and Evergreen Solar, Inc. BJ’s, and the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) solar rebate program.Islandia, New York – January 17, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] LIPA Chairman and CEO Richard M. Kessel joined company officials from BJ’s, CSG, and Evergreen Solar in ceremonies marking the installation, held at the Islandia store, Thursday. Students from the Pines Elementary School in Hauppauge also attended, singing “You Are My Sunshine” while wearing colorful solar masks, to open the ceremonies. The Pines School has partnered with the Islandia store through BJ’s Adopt-A-School program. The four BJ’s Clubs – in Farmingdale, Islandia, Riverhead and Westbury – will feature 96 Evergreen Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels at each location. Each of the systems, which were designed and installed by CSG, covers an area of about 1000 square feet on a store’s roof. Each BJ’s solar power plant produces 10 kW of electricity for the store, helping to reduce the peak demand on LIPA, the local electric utility. All LIPA customers benefit when electrical consumption is reduced during the peak demand periods, which usually occur on hot sunny days in the summer. BJ’s and its members benefit by helping to promote the development of power sources such as solar electricity that rely on clean, renewable resources like the sun. Combined, the four BJ’s solar power plants on Long Island will generate between 40,000 and 50,000 kWh of electricity yearly, and over their lifespan will avoid production of 720 tons of CO2. “We are proud to be affiliated with BJ’s, who is helping take the lead in supporting the development of solar electric power,” said Adam Parker, president of CSG. “The BJ’s roofs, like those on many large commercial buildings, are vast areas of prime real estate highly suited for solar power plants. By installing more solar panels, we’ll be transforming rooftops into carpets of green energy that will generate clean, renewable power for present and future generations.” “We’ve seen tremendous growth in the solar energy market – 30 percent annual growth for the past five years,” said Mark Farber, president and CEO of Evergreen Solar. “Companies like BJ’s, who have made a strong commitment to using PV and Renewable Energy, deserve enormous credit for their foresight and leadership. The continued support of state governments and utilities is critical to fostering the greater use of solar and other renewable power technologies. It makes enormous sense for the future of our planet, and everyone benefits. Renewable energy helps the United States become more energy independent, our air is cleaner and healthier, and our planet is better off.” BJ’s Wholesale Club is the first major Long Island retailer to place solar panels on their facilities, according to LIPA Chairman Richard M. Kessel. CSG has installed similar systems on BJ’s roofs in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania. In 1999, LIPA launched its Solar Pioneer program to encourage the use of solar energy among Long Island homeowners and to help make the installation of PV systems more affordable. Today there are 196 installed residential systems and 36 systems pending installation. These residential rooftop PV systems can potentially produce over 1 MW of electricity and represent US$4.9 million in LIPA rebates.