Long Island has officially gone solar, and what a perfect climate and location for adding the cleanest, most renewable form of energy around.
Long Island has always had a unique microclimate, influenced by global winds and the Atlantic Ocean, and one capable of supporting vineyards and even tender fruits in certain areas.
It’s also home to plenty of inhabitants who have done well for themselves and could afford to install solar power systems, especially given the generous incentives and tax credits offered by both Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), with rates at $1.75 per watt, and New York State.
Now, LIPA is planning to put solar panels on parking garages in Suffolk County, the Island’s summer playground.
And not just a few panels, either. LIPA, in cooperation with the Stella Group, is looking at a $125-million investment that will deliver 32 megawatts of energy, or enough to power 4,500 homes. The panels will be outfitted to carports at seven public parking facilities.
It isn’t LIPA’s first solar venture, by any means. In fact, in October it ran out of the funds needed to continue its home solar energy rebate program, largely through unexpected response levels. Fortunately, the agency managed to convince the U.S. Dept. of Energy to extend funding, for both home solar and another utility-scale solar project.
The Stella Group is a Washington, D.C.-based strategic marketing group connecting energy companies and customers via cutting-edge energy solutions.
This most recent project comes with a hope that Long Islanders will see the advantages and go solar on their own initiative (as many already have).
Photo via Flickr CC: Kevin Dooley