Renewable Energy at Risk as LIPA, PSEG Threaten to Delay Promised Clean Energy Purchase

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Renewable energy commitment part of Gov. Cuomo’s reorganization
Kim Teplitzky, Sierra Club, 267-307-4707, kim.teplitzky@sierraclub.org
Gordian Raacke, Renewable Energy Long Island, 516-313-6611, gordian@renewableenergylongisland.org
Miles Grant, National Wildlife Federation, 703-864-9599, GrantM@NWF.org

Hempstead, NY – Indications that PSEG-LI and the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) Board of Trustees could delay a much anticipated clean energy purchasing commitment is drawing criticism from groups who say the purchase is already long overdue.

The LIPA Board, in coordination with PSEG-LI, was expected to make a decision on a renewable energy purchasing commitment by the end of 2014. However, it now appears the decision to build more renewable energy for Long Island, which could include New York’s first offshore wind project, could be delayed up to 18 months.

LIPA released the 280 megawatt request for new renewable energy proposals, referred to as the “renewable RFP” following a renewable energy mandate in Governor Cuomo’s 2013 LIPA reorganization legislation. Recent statements by PSEG-LI leaders indicate that they could delay such decisions, casting doubt over the Governor’s ability to bring more renewable energy to Long Island this year, as promised.

A coalition of Long Island, New York and national leaders responded with the following statements:

Lisa Dix, New York Senior Representative, Sierra Club:

“This commitment to add more renewable energy to our power mix was a direct result of citizen demand for more clean power on Long Island. It’s unacceptable to further delay a process that has already taken far too long. Time and again, Long Islanders have shown that we’re ready to lead New York with investments in renewable energy, particularly offshore wind power. We’re counting on Governor Cuomo to keep his promise to Long Islanders and push LIPA and PSEG to make offshore wind a reality this year.”

Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, Citizens Campaign for Environment:

“We can’t move towards a renewable future, by continuing to delay critical decisions on our renewable future.  It took less time to send a man to the moon, than it’s taking to build an offshore wind farm.  The time for offshore wind is now.”

William Toedter, President, North Fork Environmental Council:

Delaying what is right and in the best interests of Long Island is not acceptable. Such delays will only give towns on the East End incentive to approve costly and polluting fossil-fuel peaker plants under the guise of already refuted energy shortfalls. Our needs are clear. Our commitment is strong. Our future is now.  LIPA and the state must keep their word and help keep Long Island's energy clean for all and forever.

Anne Reynolds, Executive Director, Alliance for Clean Energy New York:

"Bringing renewable energy to Long Island via a LIPA contract is a great business opportunity for clean energy companies in New York. We sincerely hope the LIPA decision is not delayed and Long Islanders can begin -- sooner rather than later -- to reap the benefits of local investment and economic development, as well as cleaner air." 

Gordian Raacke, Executive Director, Renewable Energy Long Island:

“While Long Island has no need for more fossil-fueled power plants like Caithness there is an urgent need to replace polluting power generation with clean solar and wind power. This should prompt Governor Cuomo to deliver on the promise of utility scale renewable energy projects rather than ‘throwing out the baby with the bath water’”.

Catherine Bowes, Senior Manager, National Wildlife Federation:

“People and wildlife alike need clean energy. We urge Governor Cuomo and the LIPA Board to follow through on their commitment to realize a clean energy future for Long Island and utilize this opportunity to bring transformational offshore wind power online. Harnessing New York’s unrivaled offshore wind resource will create jobs, stabilize energy prices, improve local air and water quality, and help protect coastal communities and fragile wildlife habitat from the dangerous effects of climate change.”

Conor Bambrick, Air and Energy Director, Environmental Advocates of New York:

“Governor Cuomo’s energy vision calls on Long Island to take the lead, with a clear commitment to clean energy embedded in the new LIPA reforms. Now is not the time to consider re-booting Utility 2.0 before it even gets off the ground. We know that Long Island and the rest of the state need to cut climate pollution and diversify our fuel mix with clean energy resources, we don’t need to hire a consultant to tell us that offshore wind provides one of the best opportunities to meet those needs.”

Rory Christian, New York Director of Clean Energy, Environmental Defense Fund:

“The environmental, economic and societal benefits of wind power are clear. Long Island will benefit from these new renewable resources, which will also reduce carbon emissions and improve the resiliency and health of our communities. We encourage LIPA and PSEG to move forward with this commitment without delay.”

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