LIPA Approves Largest Solar Energy Project in New York State

Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) president and CEO, Kevin Law this week announced that the LIPA Board of Trustees approved power purchase agreements (PPAs) with BP Solar and enXco Development Corp., creating the state’s largest source of solar power on Long Island. LIPA’s Solar Energy Project will introduce approximately 50 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy generated on Long Island onto LIPA’s electric grid.

“Today’s approval is great news for Long Island and the entire state of New York. 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,” Law said.

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 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 February 2009, LIPA officials announced the results of a competitive procurement process to install photovoltaic arrays, selecting BP Solar and enXco Development Corp. 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 Development Corp. to provide 32 MW and 17 MW of energy, respectively, along with RECs and capacity from their projects. BP Solar will construct its ground-mounted solar system at Brookhaven National Laboratory at a cost of $298 million over the contracted 20-year term.

enXco will install solar systems on car ports within existing parking lots, at railroad stations and other facilities owned by Suffolk County owned parking lots at a cost of $125 million 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.

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