Over 4,000 businesses and homes on Long Island have gone solar. We learned last week, however, that Fox News program host and long-time resident of Long Island, Bill O'Reilly, does not have solar or wind on his property. (Special thanks to Stephen Lacey and colleagues at Climate Progress for posting.) He says he wants to "buy solar or wind for his house this winter." But he can't find anyone who will do it.
Bill, we're here to help. As a resident of Long Island, NY, you're in luck for at least three reasons. First, your electric utility provider, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), ranks among the Top Ten U.S. utilities with the most installed solar in their service territory - three years running. Second, Long Island is home to over twenty renewable and solar energy (including both photovoltaic and hot water) businesses who are eager to bid and spec out a new system for you. Third, Long Island has very good solar resources. How good? It's on par with 'sunny' European countries, Italy and Spain (accounting for all seasons).
The light-yellow shaded area (e.g. covering most of New York and the Northeast) on the U.S. map corresponds to the medium-orange band running through northern Spain and northern Italy.
Ironic that Mr. O'Reilly's public 'request' for solar and wind installers coincided with the news last Friday that the largest solar photovoltaic energy system in the Northeast went online in Long Island. Known simply as the Long Island Solar Farm, it is powering the equivalent of 4,500 homes (that's 32 megawatts in capacity for the energy-savants keeping score). Goordian Raacke, director of Renewable Energy Long Island, advocating alongside us for clean and renewable energy in New York said it best, "This is huge!"
Photo above is a screen capture of Newsday video by Jennifer Smirth of the Long Island Solar Farm Commissioning Ceremony
Solar is a good investment for New York, giving a boost to our economy and adding new and local job opportunities while keeping our air and water clean. The New York Solar Jobs Act will open up this great economic investment opportunity for the benefit of all New York State residents and businesses.