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The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) has issued two separate requests for proposals (RFPs), including one for up to 280 MW of new renewable energy from resources such as solar, fuel cells and even offshore wind by 2018.

LIPA has had its eyes on offshore wind for years. For example, it had proposed a project to install 40 turbines off the coast of Jones Beach, but it later terminated the project in 2007, citing factors such as strong local opposition and costs. The utility also teamed up with the New York Power Authority and Consolidated Edison on the New York City-Long Island Offshore Wind Project, a proposed 350 MW to 700 MW wind farm located off the Rockaway Peninsula. In June 2011, however, LIPA withdrew its proposal for that project. Nonetheless, a utility spokesperson says LIPA and its partners are engaged in an ongoing study to assess the feasibility and advance the development of the endeavor.

The second RFP is seeking as much as 1,630 MW in the form of new peaking or distributed generation, energy storage and demand response resources to be in service by 2019 or earlier, if possible, LIPA explains. These newer sources of energy are intended to replace approximately 1 GW of 1960’s and 1970’s vintage “peaking” units currently under contract to LIPA.

Both RFPs are part of a long-term energy strategy approved by LIPA’s board of trustees in October 2012. LIPA says the plan is expected to increase renewable energy projects and energy efficiency to a total of more than 1 GW by 2022, making non-fossil energy a material component of the Long Island electric resource profile.

Following LIPA’s announcement, several regional advocacy groups commended the authority for its newest RFPs.

“We welcome the opportunity for offshore and on-site wind, solar, fuel cells and other clean technologies to help meet Long Island’s growing demand for energy safely and reliably,” says Valerie Strauss, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York. “We expect the success of these RFPs to be the start of a continued commitment to clean energy that places Long Island - and New York State as a whole - at the forefront of the national clean energy economy.”

Peter Olmsted, East Coast policy advocate for the Vote Solar Initiative, adds,  “Having just passed the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, a diversified and resilient clean energy portfolio will prove critical to meeting the long-term energy needs of Long Islanders. As the state considers the future role of renewable energy, energy efficiency and demand response, LIPA is showing clear leadership by issuing these robust solicitations.”

More information about the RFPs can be found HERE.



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