More than two years after LIPA first sent out a request for proposals for alternative energy projects on Long Island, California firm SunEdison announced today that it has signed agreements through the LIPA program with five municipalities on Long Island to build seven solar power plants totaling 14 megawatts.
Five of those projects are on the East End, including a 2 megawatt array at the capped Southold Town landfill in Cutchogue, three projects in East Hampton on Old Northwest Road, Accabonac Road and at the town landfill on Springs-Fireplace Road totalling 3.2 megawatts and a 3.2-megawatt project at Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach.
Southold’s project is expected to generate $57,000 in lease revenue annually for the town, or $1.14 million over the course of the 20 year lease.
East Hampton is in the unique position of being located in an energy-starved corner of the island where LIPA and PSEG-Long Island are willing to pay a premium of seven cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity more than anywhere else.
LIPA had issued a call in 2013, before PSEG-Long Island began operating its electric grid, for 100 megawatts of large-scale solar power, which would be fed into the existing electric grid.
“LIPA’s Clean Solar Initiative program allows communities to benefit from locally generated solar energy, enabling them to better control energy costs,” said Steve Raeder, managing director of Eastern USA distributed generation for SunEdison, in a press release issued Thursday. “This program has been extremely successful and we look forward to developing more projects in Long Island.”
“With the new NYSERDA block incentive program and the governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision plan, we can replicate our success in Long Island and bring clean, affordable solar energy to customers across the entire state of New York,” he added.
The Long Island solar power plants are expected to produce enough electricity to power more than 1,100 homes and eliminate the emission of more than 27 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of taking more than 2,600 cars off the road. The construction of these solar power plants is expected to create an estimated 100 jobs in the Long Island area.