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Long Island Cares Goes Solar Helping 50 Families With Energy Needs

HAUPPAUGE, NY - SEPTEMBER 16, 2019: As part of an ambitious solar power initiative unfolding at Long Island’s largest industrial park, Long Island Cares – one of the region’s premiere charitable institutions – is completing the installation of solar panels on the 35,000 square-foot roof of its headquarters at the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge (LI-IPH).
Starting in October, 100 percent of the renewable energy generated on Long Island Cares’ roof at 10 Davids Drive – amounting to 350,000 kilowatt hours annually – will be sent offsite to service the electrical needs of approximately 50 households experiencing hardship and food insecurity. 
The power pass-along is facilitated through an energy management practice called “community solar,” whereby electricity generated by a solar power installation is shared by multiple households, companies, or institutions. 
The project represents the first major milestone for the HIA-LI Solar Task Force launched last year by HIA-LI, one of the region’s most-prominent business associations. The task force is led by Co-Chairs Scott Maskin, CEO of SUNation Solar Systems, one of Long Island’s largest installers of solar panels and equipment, and Jack Kulka, President of Kulka, LLC, a major development and construction firm.
“This solar project represents a direct extension of the humanitarian work of Long Island Cares,” said Paule Pachter, CEO of Long Island Cares. “Part of Long Island Cares’ energy focuses on providing emergency food relief to hungry and food-insecure Long Islanders through the Harry Chapin Regional Food Bank. But we also engage in direct service programs that address the humanitarian human needs of veterans, seniors, immigrants, and others struggling with economic and social challenges.
“By taking the entire energy output of our solar installation and sending it offsite to provide discounted power to homes occupied by our lower-income neighbors, these households will have new found income to address some of their immediate needs.”
“Second in size only to California’s Silicon Valley, the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge is truly the heartbeat of Long Island’s economy,” said Scott Maskin. “As such, it has a unique opportunity to bring forward both technology and value in a substantial way. From an energy perspective, the park can act as a responsible, shining example for all of Long Island.
“Through the successful embrace of this program,” Maskin added, “our park can distinguish itself as Long Island’s single largest energy producer, delivering revenue to its building owners while helping achieve New York State’s renewable energy goals. It’s a win-win all around.” 
“Energy costs are an important factor in determining economic competitiveness here on Long Island or in any region,” said Mr. Kulka. “Fortunately, we now live in an era where we are finding bolder and more aggressive ways to curtail these costs, and our task force is actively pursuing new savings through solar power.
“By using the ‘community solar’ approach, Long Island Cares is also showing us that we can cut energy spending and be more sustainable, while at the same time act in an inclusive way. It’s now not only possible to reap savings, we can also share savings with others in real need. Solar power can be a community builder.”
The HIA-LI Solar Task Force offers the opportunity to install solar power on buildings in the PSEG-LI territory, with a special focus on roof space situated within the LI-IPH. The park consists of more than 20 million square feet of unutilized roof space with a solar capacity exceeding 80 megawatts. For context, a megawatt of solar energy can fit on an average 100,000-square-foot building. Each megawatt is able to serve about 125 Long Island homes.
Capitalizing upon previously unattainable economies of scale, the initiative allows building owners to take advantage of the economic advantages of solar energy either through community solar programs or through traditionally net metered systems for properties requiring on-site power. The park is able to reduce electricity consumption, generate revenue, and play a role in achieving New York State’s aggressive sustainable energy initiatives. Formed in 2018, the solar initiative expects to be instrumental in helping the industrial park achieve 100-percent-reliance on renewable energy by 2040.
The solar program helps businesses implement energy efficiency measures to reduce electricity demand and install solar panels that will either provide the property with lower-cost energy or sell energy to “off-takers” who pay to rent an owner’s rooftop solar installation. The initiative also helps owners secure project financing, process utility rebates, obtain guidance on tax credits and other incentives, and explore various ownership and energy management options. 
“The HIA-LI solar program is exciting and ambitious, and, better yet, there’s no reason why it has to be such a unique enterprise here on Long Island,” said Terri Alessi-Miceli, President and CEO of HIA-LI. “There are dozens of building clusters and multi-structure, institutional land parcels of all kinds across Nassau and Suffolk counties that could emulate our example. Long island would reap big benefits if other grouped properties used the LI-IPH solar agenda as a template for action.” 
“While it makes a lot of sense to focus on the cost savings associated with solar power, it’s also important to highlight the contribution that renewable energy makes to sustainability,” said Joe Campolo, Managing Partner of Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP and Chairman of the HIA-LI Board of Directors. “Across America, emerging generations of executives are ever more deeply tuned in to the message of environmental stewardship. The HIA-LI solar initiative sends the right message to tomorrow’s business leaders across America: Long Island is a place where we unite to build a sustainable future.”
Making this project even more special is the unique collaboration of leading local energy companies including Edgewise Energy, Entersolar, Harvest Power, Empower Solar, Top Cat Consulting, H2M Engineering, and Greenstreet Power Partners. Combined, these entities have designed and deployed hundreds of megawatts of solar power.