LIPA Board of Trustees Approve First Feed-In Tariff Program in New York State

Furthers Governor Cuomo's NY-Sun Initiative by adding 50 MW of solar power in Long Island

Clean Solar Initiative supported by government leaders, environmental and renewable energy advocates, business representatives and solar industry professionals

Uniondale, NY—Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) Board of Trustees voted today to approve LIPA’s new Clean Solar Initiative (CSI) that will provide Long Island with the next 50 megawatts (MW) of solar energy on Long Island. This initiative will further advance the development of solar energy and the growth of clean energy jobs on Long Island.

LIPA’s CSI will be New York State’s first feed-in tariff (aka: standard offer) program and is consistent with the clarion call by Governor Andrew Cuomo to quadruple customer-sited solar energy in New York State by 2013.

“The Clean Solar Initiative solidifies LIPA as a national leader in renewable energy,” said LIPA chief operating officer Michael Hervey. “Our customer-sided residential and business solar programs as well as our large scale utility solar projects continue to act as a catalyst for promoting solar energy, diversifying our energy portfolio, leveraging private investment, and creating green jobs on Long Island.”

Through the CSI, LIPA will purchase, through June 30, 2014, up to 50 MW of solar generation located on its customers’ premises through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) whereby the owner of the solar system is paid a fixed rate by LIPA for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of renewable energy generated over a 20-year term. This type of standard offer, performance-based incentive to help grow mid-to-large solar installations across Long Island has been used successfully by other utilities in the United States, Canada and Europe. The CSI builds off the success of LIPA’s Solar Pioneer and Entrepreneur Program and its first 50 MW utility-scale project, which was achieved through the issuance of a Request for Proposal.

LIPA’s CSI has received overwhelming support by local industry leaders, business representatives, environmental and clean energy advocates, and governmental leaders at the state, county, and local level.

"The growth of solar energy and LIPA’s Clean Solar Initiative is critically important for our future energy needs as well as helping to create jobs and grow our economy in the short term," said New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle.

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. today applauded the LIPA Board of Trustees for establishing a solar feed-in tariff as part of Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun proposal. “This proposal is similar to one I first proposed in 2009. If we are to be truly energy independent and reduce energy costs on Long Island, we must provide incentives to encourage the production of solar and other alternative sources of energy. The establishment of this program is a market-based strategy to do just that. Not only will it encourage the rapid and sustainable development of electricity from renewable sources, it will create green jobs on Long Island. In Gainesville, Florida, a surge of capital investment in community solar systems has occurred under their program. It will provide a means to earn reasonable and reliable returns, allowing capital to flow into clean and renewable energy systems.”

“The CSI builds upon LIPA’s nationally recognized customer-sided Solar Pioneer and Solar Entrepreneur programs. Suffolk County has been a proud partner with LIPA on its utility-scale solar initiative demonstrated by solar carport projects throughout Suffolk County. Renewable energy is an increasingly significant source of clean energy for Long Island, and has a positive economic impact on the local workforce and our businesses,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

Applications for participation in the CSI will be accepted starting July 16, 2012 with the rate of $0.22 per kWh of electricity delivered to LIPA’s grid over a 20-year contract term subject to the PPA. The amount of electricity will be measured using a dedicated meter for each approved project.

"LIPA has shown national leadership by creating the Clean Solar Initiative, which will unleash the commercial-scale solar market in Long Island by giving customers a straightforward opportunity to sell solar energy to LIPA," said Craig Lewis, Executive Director of Clean Coalition. "Commercial-sized solar projects represent the most promising growth opportunity for solar because they can be deployed quickly and cost-effectively while delivering maximum benefits to the local economy. I expect that LIPA's Clean Solar Initiative will serve as a model for Clean Programs across the country."

"The feed-in tariff is a highly successful, cost-effective mechanism used around the world, and will offer an even greater opportunity for the growth of solar power as an energy source for Long Island,” said Gordian Raacke, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Long Island, a regional not-for-profit organization. “With this new step in the evolution of solar energy initiatives, LIPA is making a quantum leap forward.”

“The Long Island Solar Industries Association (LISEIA), a task force of NYSEIA applauds LIPA's leadership in developing and implementing a solar feed-in tariff. Such programs have been some of the most successful in accelerating solar energy adoption throughout the world, and we look forward to adding Long Island to that record of success,” said R. Sail Van Nostrand, Chairman of Long Island Solar Energy Industries Association.

For further information on LIPA’s Clean Solar Initiative visit the LIPA website at www.lipower.org/FIT.

LIPA, a non-profit municipal electric provider, owns the retail electric Transmission and Distribution System on Long Island and provides electric service to more than 1.1 million customers in Nassau and Suffolk counties and the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens. LIPA is the 2nd largest municipal electric utility in the nation in terms of electric revenues, 3rd largest in terms of customers served and the 7th largest in terms of electricity delivered. In 2010, LIPA outperformed all other overhead electric utilities in New York State for frequency of service interruptions, and ranked second for duration of service interruptions. LIPA does not provide natural gas service or own any on-island generating assets. More information about LIPA can be found online at: http://www.lipower.org.

Source: http://www.lipower.org/newscenter/pr/2012/062812-fit.html