Posts Tagged ‘ARRA funding’
Freeport Fire Department Announces Completion of 51.7 Kilowatt Solar System
On Monday (November 29, 2011) the Village of Freeport, NY and Freeport Electric held a press conference to announce the completion of a 51.7 kilowatt (kW) solar electric system, which was engineered and installed by EmPower Solar at the Freeport Fire Department Headquarters. The design includes168 SunPower 308 Watt modules, and a SatCon 50 kW inverter.
Freeport Mayor Andrew Hardwick said “There are many ways a municipality can go green and Freeport has instituted several steps to reduce its carbon footprint.” Along with the solar power system at the Firehouse, the Village of Freeport has purchased several hybrid cars, a hybrid bucket truck, and replaced 340 street lights with an energy efficient alternative. EmPower has also installed a number of solar residential and commercial systems in the Village of Freeport.
EmPower engineer Emily Hwang, served as the project engineer, and was recognized by Freeport Electric’s Superintendent, Anthony Fiore, for her high quality work and dedication. All the EmPower team members, including engineers and installers, deserve recognition for their seamless execution of this complicated project. Cameron Engineering was also instrumental to the structural engineering design.
In his remarks, EmPower CEO David G. Schieren said “The Village of Freeport and Freeport Electric should be commended for its vision and leadership in making this solar project a reality. Municipalities have a critical role to play in advancing renewable energy, and the importance of their leadership can’t be overstated.”
EmPower is especially grateful to Freeport Electric’s Superintendent Anthony Fiore and Supervisor of Electric Service Les Endo Jr. for their impressive commitment to this project. Their support and technical understanding are making solar energy a reality in the Village.
Many large installations like this one are done on flat roofs and are not visible to the public. This installation is unique because it is on a pitched roof and directly across the street from the Freeport LIRR Train Station.
See the official press release here.
Freeport Fire Department Goes Solar
Construction of a 50 kilowatt SunPower Photovoltaic system is underway at the Freeport Fire Department, located at 15 Broadway in Freeport, NY, just north of the LIRR station. The EmPower Installation Team started phase 1 of the installation 2 weeks ago (see picture above) and should be completed by the end of October. A typical residential installation takes 3-5 days to complete. This installation is 5 times the size of a large residential PV system. Furthermore, metal rafters (versus wood) and other complexities have added to the amount of time for this installation to be completed.
Freeport received funding for the solar project from a competitive New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) grant, which originated from a American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus program.
Since the Village of Freeport has its own municipal electric provider, Freeport Electric, and is not in LIPA territory, residents are not eligible for the $1.75/watt solar rebate from LIPA.
Energy Stimulus Money Slow to Spend, But Making Strides for Solar on Long Island and New York State
Of the $3.2 billion that the economic stimulus package of 2009 allocated towards energy efficiency and conservation, only 8.4% had been spent as of the beginning of this month. An Audit Report was released by the Department of Energy last week examining the status of funds granted to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program under the Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The DOE disbursed most of the available funds for projects that would increase energy efficiency and reduce energy use and fossil fuel emissions. However, after a year only $269.7 million had been spent, producing or saving just 2,265 jobs.
Why the delays in spending? Low levels of spending and job creation were clearly not the desired outcome of this program. But the one-year analysis found impediments to implementation including administrative and regulatory issues at the federal, state, and local levels. A shortage of Department staff and abundance of federal controls have made it difficult for local governments to spend money as planned. More details on these issues can be found in the status report.
The Department of Energy had the chance to respond to this audit and argued that the program was more successful than made to appear by this report; much of the money has actually been committed to projects so there is promise of spending in the near future.
What does this mean for solar? Although most stimulus grants for renewable energy technologies are given through other areas, like the State Energy Program leg of the Recovery Act, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block includes solar power on government buildings. According to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Governor Paterson back in March 2010, $24 million of this block funding was awarded for clean energy projects in small municipalities across New York state. Plans for this money included both solar photovoltaic and thermal systems on various facilities including fire stations, libraries, and town halls. Here is the breakdown of funds for Long Island:
It’s great to see that New York municipalities are on board and in many cases leading the mission of spreading solar energy and efficiency!
NY Solar gets boost with ARRA funding
On Monday, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced the awardees of an ARRA funding opportunity (RFP 1613) for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean fleet projects. These projects will help to make New York a leader in clean technology, foster the development of new jobs, and improve the environmental quality of NY communities. The funding will help to launch the installation of commercial size solar installations throughout the state. Numerous fantastic projects will be completed as a result of this funding. On Long Island and in New York City alone, more than $3 million was awarded to install nearly ½ MW of solar.
For this opportunity, applicants were limited to municipal governments, public K-12 schools, public universities or colleges, public or private hospitals, and 501(c)(3) non-profits. Recipients submitted for the funding in November 2009 by completing applications that included cost-benefit and environmental impact analyses of their proposed projects. Funding was allocated to 7 different regions within the State, so applicants only competed against those within their regions.
Funding was exhausted for most regions, but $6.8 million remains for NYC and $1.6 million remains for Western New York. Applications for this remaining funding are due April 7, 2010.
Congratulations to all the awardees!