Long Island’s Clean Energy Future Has Begun – A Long Island Business News Article

Long Island Construction Law does not own this content. This content was created by the Long Island Business News and was published on October 11th, 2021. Thomas Falcone is the chief executive officer of the Long Island Power Authority.

Long Island’s transition away from fossil fuels is well underway. Per New York’s landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, LIPA is committed to a carbon-free electric grid by 2040 – a goal that we work to advance each day through investments in clean energy, transportation, and heating.

Long Island is already on track for thousands of megawatts (MW) of new clean energy infrastructure over the next seven years, including 2,300 MW of offshore wind, 800 MW of solar, and 400 MW of storage. That’s 3,400 MW of new resources on a grid with a 5,300 MW peak demand. With our recently kicked off Integrated Resource Plan, LIPA is studying the additional investments over the next 19 years that will be needed to meet this goal.

Let’s take a look at what has already been done and what we have in the figurative pipeline:

Solar Development: Long Island leads the state in solar power, and we are not slowing down. LIPA accounts for 40 percent of New York’s distributed solar projects, even though we are only 12.5 percent of the state’s electric load. Just last month, the LIPA Board of Trustees approved a 36 MW solar project called Riverhead 2 in Calverton. Once complete, this project will be the largest solar farm on Long Island.

Embrace EVs: With New York phasing out the sale of most internal combustion engine (ICE) cars by 2035, the time is now to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. EVs are quiet, fun to drive, and efficient. An EV in New York has the same carbon footprint as a car that gets 125 miles per gallon, even accounting for the electric grid emissions. With almost no maintenance and low fuel costs, the lifetime ownership costs of EVs are on parity with ICE vehicles. As automakers release exciting new models, customers are going to buy EVs simply because they’re a better car. LIPA offers residential customers an approximately 25 percent discount on electricity used to charge their vehicles overnight. Still, there is a need for more chargers throughout our area, and LIPA has an $88 million plan to build out chargers by 2025.

Promote Heat Pumps: A typical residential customer with oil heat could reduce their carbon footprint by 40 percent and save about $1,000 a year on heating by using electric heat via a cold climate heat pump. Even better, as the electric grid transitions to cleaner fuels, the carbon savings will approach 100 percent. LIPA offers attractive rebates for homeowners converting, allowing the additional cost of the heat pump to pay for itself in a little over a year. This is an excellent opportunity for customers to save two types of green – money and the environment.

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Harness Wind Power: In 2017, the LIPA Board approved the country’s first contract for an offshore wind farm in federal waters – the South Fork Wind Farm. With construction slated to begin early next year, this not only will be New York’s first offshore wind farm but will be the site of the first American-made offshore wind substation. Since 2017, two additional offshore wind projects have been awarded agreements with the state to connect to the Long Island electric grid – providing over 2,300 MW of offshore wind by 2026.

Increase Battery Storage: In 2016, LIPA moved forward with the largest battery storage project in the state – a pair of 5 MW storage projects that each provides capacity for up to eight hours. Batteries store excess energy from renewables like wind and solar so homes and businesses can continue to be powered when needed. LIPA is now procuring an additional 175 MW of battery storage to be installed by 2025 to help serve and balance electric loads on a grid with greater renewable energy.

Retire Fossil-Fueled Power Plants: The phasing out of fossil fuel-fueled power plants goes together with LIPA’s commitment to clean energy. Over the last decade, LIPA has shut down 420 MW of antiquated plants at six facilities, and we are planning retirements for an additional 400 to 800 MW of generation by 2027.

There is always more to do, especially with an issue as critical as this, but our region continues to be a leader in clean energy, not just in New York but nationwide.

Long Island Construction Law does not own this content. This content was created by the Long Island Business News and was published on October 11th, 2021. Thomas Falcone is the chief executive officer of the Long Island Power Authority.

John Caravella Esq., is a construction attorney and formerly practicing project architect at The Law Office of John Caravella, P.C., representing architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, and owners in all phases of contract preparation, litigation, and arbitration across New York and Florida. He also serves as an arbitrator to the American Arbitration Association Construction Industry Panel. Mr. Caravella can be reached by email: John@LIConstructionLaw.com or (631) 608-1346.

This is a general information article and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. The content above has been edited for conciseness and additional relevant points are omitted for space constraints. Readers are encouraged to seek counsel from a construction lawyer who has experience with Long Island construction law for advice on a particular circumstance.

Long Island Construction Law does not own this content. This content was created by the Long Island Business News and was published on October 11th, 2021. Thomas Falcone is the chief executive officer of the Long Island Power Authority.