2009-05-22 / Top Stories

LIPA Honored For Solar Energy Initiatives

The New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA) has announced that the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) is the recipient of its 2009 Energy Policy Leadership Award. Winners were selected based upon their efforts to advance solar power in New York State. LIPA President and CEO Kevin S. Law accepted the award at a ceremony held during the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) National Solar Conference, in Buffalo, NY.

NYSEIA is the only statewide nonprofit membership and trade association dedicated solely to advancing solar energy in New York State. The membership, formed in 1994, consists of solar electric (PV) and solar thermal manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in the state and globally.

"New York State can and must become one of the top ten solar markets in the world," said NYSEIA Board Chair Thomas Thompson. "We believe the Long Island economy and grid will benefit from the deployment of 1,000 MW of distributed PV by 2020. Under the leadership of Kevin Law, LIPA has issued a 50MW solar project and expanded its Solar Pioneer Program giving us the push we need to reach our goal."

"It is truly an honor and privilege to be recognized in this way by NYSEIA," Law said. "LIPA is committed to finding new ways to develop more renewable energy resources that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. The addition of the 50 MW solar project will diversify Long Island's energy portfolio, strengthen the local economy and help to continue transforming the local solar photovoltaic marketplace," said Law, who, while addressing the American Solar Energy Society at its National Solar Conference, announced his intention to pursue a second 50 MW block of solar after the successful installation of the current project.

In April, 2008, Governor David A. Paterson announced LIPA would embark on a major alternative energy project that would create the state's largest source of solar power to help meet the challenge of developing comprehensive renewable energy alternatives and address the growing demand for energy on Long Island and throughout the state. LIPA is now negotiating with the successful respondents to its Request for Proposals calling for 50 megawatts (MW) of solar energy to be generated on Long Island. The project, when complete, will provide enough power to sustain more than 6,500 households and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20,000 tons. It is also expected to create approximately 1,100 "green" jobs in the U.S.

The 50MW of solar energy builds on the success of LIPA's Solar Pioneer program, one of the most active solar programs in the country, which boasts more than 1,700 participants and has resulted in more than $40 million in LIPA rebates. LIPA and Long Island have been leading the way in this regard. The new 50MW will count for nearly one percent of LIPA's total annual demand and will be the single largest block of solar energy in New York State. LIPA was recently named among the top ten utilities in the U.S. with the most solar integration into its energy mix by the Solar Electric Power Association.

The New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA) focuses on educating the public, legislators, policy makers, and regulators on the environmental, economic development, and energy supply benefits of solar energy use. Its aim is to assist New York State in achieving 3000 MW of PV and increase solar thermal use throughout the State during the next 10 years, which will make the state's electric grid smarter and generate nearly 100,000 jobs over that time.

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