Energy Exchange

New York Scales Up Solar Energy

Rory Christian PhotoNew York Governor Cuomo announced last week that the NY-Sun Initiative, a public-private partnership launched last year to spur growth in solar energy, will provide an additional $30 million to stimulate more large solar and biogas projects in the New York City area. The move follows a successful 1.56-MW rooftop solar project in the Bronx.

The expansion of the NY-Sun initiative, which has committed $800 million to solar energy through 2015, provides further example of New York’s leadership role in solar energy in the northeast. New York has some impressive smart power projects under its belt, including the 32-MW solar farm at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Long Island, the state’s largest solar installation.

Also in the same area, the Long Island Power Authority’s CLEAN Solar Initiative initiated the state’s first feed-in tariff program, which has plans to purchase up to 50 MW of customer-generated solar energy.  Read More »

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Verizon Invests Big in Clean Energy

This commentary originally appeared on Verizon’s News Center.

Rory Christian PhotoTechnology giant Verizon is making significant strides toward increasing the use of on-site green energy throughout its national portfolio with plans to finish more than $100 million in clean and renewable energy projects across facilities in seven states by the end of this year. The investment is estimated to reduce carbon emissions by over 15,000 metric tons each year, which is comparable to over 2,000 homes’ annual electricity use. Verizon’s video showcasing its plans includes an introduction by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)’s very own Victoria Mills, managing director of Corporate Partnerships.

The move builds on the company’s earlier foray into clean technology, resulting in Verizon’s successful 2005 investment in a 1.4 megawatt fuel cell in Garden City, New York. Fuel cells use an electrochemical process in which oxygen and fuel (natural gas or biogas) react to produce amounts of electricity. The process produces less carbon emissions than more conventional sources of electricity, and enables the possibility of affordable on-site, user-owned power generation that is as constant and reliable as a utility and provides an attractive economic payback for customers.

When selecting locations for solar and fuel-cell energy projects, Verizon was careful to consider sites with favorable zoning requirements, utility partners and regulatory regimes. Despite being financially viable, identifying suitable projects was no simple task. Financing these projects without incentives at the federal and state levels proved impossible, and the incentives often came with conflicting timetables and were difficult to leverage. Read More »

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