Albany, NY – December 17, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Governor David A. Paterson today announced that the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will provide a $6 million grant to the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). With the grant, LIPA will continue programs that provide homeowners and businesses with rebates and incentives for purchasing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. PV systems generate clean energy and help homeowners and businesses lower their energy bills and cut their carbon footprint. These funds were provided in response to unprecedented demand for solar panels on Long Island.
“The funding provided today will help LIPA continue a model program that has played a critical role in increasing the presence of clean, renewable solar power on Long Island,” Governor Paterson said. “The increased use of photovoltaic panels will help fuel New York’s growing clean energy economy. It builds on the energy expertise working out of Long Island’s academic institutions and creates the new economy jobs New Yorkers need.”
The funding will allow LIPA’s Solar Pioneer/Entrepreneur program to continue providing rebates to meet the growing demand. It helps the Authority increase its renewable energy portfolio and furthers Governor Paterson’s goal of achieving 45 percent of New York’s electricity needs through improved energy efficiency and renewable sources by the year 2015.
NYSERDA President and CEO Francis J. Murray, Jr. said: “Over the past year, demand for photovoltaic systems has soared as individuals and businesses realize the direct energy and environmental benefits from investing in clean energy technologies, and the long-term financial benefits from saving energy. Long Island’s PV incentive program, like NYSERDA’s, has transformed the market, bringing jobs and economic opportunities to the region. The added financial resources announced today will help ensure continued growth in New York’s clean energy economy as we work to achieve the aggressive clean energy goals advanced by Governor Paterson.”
LIPA President and CEO Kevin S. Law said: “I would like to thank Governor Paterson and NYSERDA for demonstrating a strong commitment to clean renewable energy on Long Island. These dollars will help LIPA continue its successful Solar Pioneer and Solar Entrepreneur programs for customers, in turn, helping them to generate clean energy and lower their bills.”
Today’s announcement follows the release on Tuesday of Governor Paterson’s 2009 State Energy Plan, a comprehensive blueprint for New York to continue to transition to a clean energy economy over a 10-year planning horizon, and is the first State energy plan since 2002. The transition to a clean energy economy is a core component of Governor Paterson’s New Economy Jobs Plan, and is expected to create tens of thousands of jobs in New York. Among the specific initiatives that Governor Paterson proposed in the energy plan includes working with LIPA and the Long Island-New York City Offshore Wind Collaborative to issue a request for proposals for an offshore wind project off the coast of the Rockaways in 2010.
Additionally, on Monday, Governor Paterson announced that the State University of New York at Stony Brook has been named to lead the New York Energy Policy Institute (NYEPI). Working in partnership with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Syracuse University, this consortium will coordinate the work of New York’s leading energy research centers and experts and serve as a resource for the State’s policymakers. NYSERDA will oversee the NYEPI’s operations, and has allocated up to $200,000 per year for up to three years to be matched by the consortium members. NYEPI will work with NYSERDA and other State agencies to conduct studies, produce policy analysis, and provide guidance on energy issues impacting New York now and in the future.
The monies LIPA will receive for its solar programs will be funded from New York’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) pollution allowance auctions. RGGI is a 10-state cooperative effort to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from electric power plants by means of a cap and trade system. RGGI is the nation’s first market-based, mandatory program that aims to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.
To date, LIPA has rebated approximately 2300 residential, 65 commercial roofs, and 48 systems installed at educational, not-for-profit, and government facilities. In addition, LIPA has approximately 450 pending PV applications. Since its inception, the nationally recognized program has rebated more than $54.4 million, totaling 13.5 megawatts (MW) of clean energy. For the second straight year, LIPA was named among the top 10 utilities in the United States by the Washington, D.C. based Solar Electric Power Association.