“A decade ago Long Island had only a handful of rebated solar installations; it now has 5,000 solar roofs,” said Gordian Raacke, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Long Island, a local not-for-profit advocacy group. The 5000 solar roofs consist of 4,571 residential and 609 commercial installations totaling 38,520 kilowatts (kWs) of solar panels. Through LIPA’s nationally recognized Solar Pioneer and Solar Entrepreneur Program, the Authority has rebated over $122 million for rooftop solar systems that are expected to produce 46,000,000 kilowatt hours (kWhs) per year for the next 20 years. This is the equivalent to removing almost 4,000 cars off the road and 2,429,937 gallons of gas consumed per year.
“The steady growth of residential, commercial, not-for-profit, and utility-scale solar installations across Long Island demonstrates Long Islanders increasing awareness and LIPA’s commitment to take control of our energy future now,” said LIPA Chief Operating Officer Michael D. Hervey. “The 5,000th installation is a key step towards reaching energy independence, improving the environment, lowering the cost of solar, and successfully transforming and sustaining a robust solar market that continues to create jobs on Long Island.” Long Island’s solar growth has been fueled by LIPA’s solar programs and initiatives, including the cash rebates that cut the out-of-pocket cost of PV systems. In addition to LIPA’s solar rebates, eligible customers further reduce the cost with generous federal and state tax credits.
Simultaneously, and just as exciting was the launch of Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun Initiative; set to double the amount of customer-sited solar power installed annually in New York, and quadruple that amount by 2013. “The NY-Sun Initiative puts New York at the forefront of solar development and research, creating green jobs while containing energy costs for consumers,” Governor Cuomo said. “This clean energy investment will help protect the environment, expand our solar capacity, and lead to a long term reduction of the cost of solar in New York.”