LIPA readies another 100 MW of solar for Long Island

Building off the success of its first Clean Solar Initiative feed-in tariff, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) said July 12 that it has begun the process to bring online an additional 100 MW of solar energy through its Clean Solar Initiative-II (CSI-II) program.

Consistent with its utility-scale, customer-sided, and first feed-in tariff solar programs, all of the 100 MW will be generated on Long Island, further advancing the development of solar energy and the growth of clean energy jobs.

The 100 MW from CSI-II builds upon LIPA’s first program with a portion of the 100 MW targeting the South Fork on the East End in order to reduce load on constrained areas, the authority said. To encourage solar investment in areas of the South Fork that will provide the greatest benefits to the LIPA electric system, a solar price premium of about 7 cents per kilowatt-hour will be available for projects built in the designated areas located east of LIPA’s Canal Substation in Southampton. Reducing the load constraint in this area will help defer, reduce or eliminate the need to invest hundreds of millions of dollars for new generation, infrastructure, and transmission and distribution lines.

“This next generation of LIPA’s Clean Solar Initiative is envisioned to bring additional clean energy resources on Long Island, diversifying and cleaning Long Island’s energy supply and deferring investments in the power grid,” said LIPA COO John McMahon. “LIPA continues to fulfill our commitment to be a leader in the advancement of efficiency and renewable energy.”

CSI-II builds on LIPA’s Solar Pioneer and Entrepreneur programs that have helped create and sustain an industry providing rebates for the installation of more than 6,500 residential and commercial solar systems, and the development of a 32-MW solar farm at Brookhaven National Lab and solar carports on Suffolk County parking lots.

Two more renewables projects in the works for this year

CSI-II will precede two additional clean energy projects to be released before year end 2013. In one project, LIPA staff is developing another feed-in tariff to allow for wind, fuel cells and other renewable resources to fill an additional 20-MW block of renewable energy. In the other, LIPA is preparing a Request for Proposals for up to 280 MW of renewable energy.

Following public input and LIPA Board of Trustees action, it is anticipated that applications for participation in CSI-II will be accepted starting Sept. 30 with the rate being set through a bidding process. Applicants bid a price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the energy that they will deliver from their project. The applications will be accepted throughout the approximately 120-day application period (Sept. 30, 2013, through Jan. 31, 2014). The final price for the winning bidders will be fixed for 20 years.

CSI-II incorporates some important lessons learned from CSI-I like providing viable proof of site control at time of application, limiting size of projects to 2 MW, and allowing time for public entities to procure service and file applications.

“The Long Island Solar Energy Industry Association (LISEIA) commends LIPA and is pleased to be working alongside of them on their Clean Energy Initiatives,” said LISEIA chairman Bill Feldman. “LIPA’s CSI-II is yet another example of LIPA’s ongoing commitment to a sustainable energy infrastructure.”

The Clean Solar Initiative-II features:

  • Price competition in lieu of administratively determined fixed price;
  • Adequate time for public entities to fulfill procurement requirements and provide complete applications with bids;
  • Geographically targeted to load constrained areas through locational premium on South Fork of East End;
  • Project size limited to systems between 100-kW-to-2,000-kW per application; and
  • Term Sheet with site owner required with project application.

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.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.