Long Island Solar Farm Operations Commence

Written By Brianna Panzica

Posted November 21, 2011

On Monday, officials gathered to celebrate the opening of a huge solar project in Upton, New York.

The 32-megawatt Long Island Solar Farm consists of 164,312 solar panels and is expected to pump up to 50 gigawatt-hours each year into the Long Island Power Authority Grid.

The project is owned and operated by BP Solar, a subsidiary of BP (NYSE: BP), and MetLife (NYSE: MET), and it is located at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, part of the U.S. Department of Energy.

As the Long Island Press reports, it is the largest solar array of its type in the east of the United States, and it also has the smallest footprint for its size.

And it’s one step closer to New York State’s goal to receive 30% of its energy from renewable sources by 2015, says PhysOrg.

The farm will operate under a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Long Island Power Authority that will cost about $298 million.

But for the average electricity customer, it will only add about $0.60 per month.

According to LIPA COO Michael D. Harvey, the solar farm “will continue to act as a catalyst for fostering a bright future and green economy on Long Island through the creation of new, high-quality energy jobs,” as he told the Long Island Press.

And the project is revolutionary for United States renewable energy.  A project of this size and with such a small footprint, aiming to get rid of up to 30,000 metric tons of CO2 annually, could set the stage for other projects like it.

Not to mention the possibility of jobs created by similar projects.

As the Long Island Press reports, the power generated by the Long Island Solar Farm is enough to power up to 4,500 homes.

It is a breakthrough for the state of New York, which could be heading toward meeting its renewable goal after all.

That’s all for now,


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