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Source: Public News Service

Solar Power on Long Island Reaches Major Milestone

Posted: September 30, 2016
Originally Published: September 29, 2016

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced a significant milestone in the advancement of solar power.

The completion of the 35,000th residential solar installation on Long Island this week marked a 320 percent increase in solar power over the past four years.

Adrienne Esposito, director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, says the numbers show that Long Islanders get it.

"We understand,” she states. “Climate change is real. We're at the front lines here on Long Island for the damage and the devastation caused by climate change. Solar is one of the answers in our renewable energy portfolio."

Long Island is New York state's largest market for residential solar power.

According to Esposito, the rapid growth of solar is due in part to economics. She says the cost of electricity on Long Island is very high, and the payoff time for residential rooftop solar is now from 5 to 7 years.

"So that's a very short timeline, given the fact that after that your electricity is basically almost zero," she stresses.

The state has launched a $1 billion NY-Sun initiative, offering incentives such as low-interest financing to bring solar power to 150,000 New York homes and businesses by 2020.

Long Island also is seeing huge potential growth in wind power. Later this year the nation's first offshore wind farm will go into operation near Block Island, and Esposito says a much larger project has been proposed for off Montauk.

"That would be a 90 megawatt or 15 turbine wind farm, and if that gets approved, that would be the second one in the United States of America," she points out.

Both wind and solar are key to achieving New York state's goal of getting 50 percent of its electric power from renewable resources by 2030.

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