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NYPA Partners with MEUA and NYAPP to Lower Electricity Costs Through Solar Incentive Program

Contact:
Paul DeMichele
914-390-8186
Paul.DeMichele@nypa.gov

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September 15, 2009 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

CORNING—New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel today was joined by officials from the Municipal Electric Utilities Association (MEUA) and the New York Association of Public Power (NYAPP) to announce a new clean energy initiative that will advance efforts to position New York State as a leader in the solar industry and help lower energy costs for many residents and businesses throughout the state. 

NYPA will partner with the MEUA and NYAPP to establish a Solar Incentive Program for customers served by the state’s municipal electric systems and rural cooperatives. It will encourage more residents and businesses to participate in renewable energy projects by helping to reduce the capital investment necessary for the installation of photovoltaic systems.

The Solar Incentive Program advances Gov. David A. Paterson’s “45 by 15” plan for 45 percent of the state’s electricity needs to be met through improved energy efficiency and clean renewable energy by the year 2015.

“In these difficult economic times, it is critical to do everything possible to alleviate the burden on New Yorkers coping with high electricity costs,” Kessel said. “Together with our partners in the municipal electric and rural cooperative systems, we will be encouraging the growth of renewable energy systems so that residents and businesses can lower their energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint. We commend both MEUA and NYAPP in taking a leadership role in promoting clean energy technologies.”

Tony Modafferi, Executive Director of the Municipal Electric Utilities Association, said: “The MEUA members look forward to working with NYPA in this renewable energy program. The MEUA which has worked with NYPA for many years through its energy efficiency program takes pride in its efforts that its members have signed onto to reduce their energy usage. This solar photovoltaic program will help the municipalities reduce their usage further. We thank NYPA for this new opportunity to further reduce our energy needs and look forward in continuing to work with NYPA.”

Hubert M. Bianco, Administrative Director of the New York Association of Public Power, said:  “NYPA continues to be a leader in new and innovative programs that benefit the Municipal and Cooperative systems they serve while meeting the growing need for alternative energy in New York State.  NYAPP members are enthusiastic about this opportunity and look forward to working with NYPA on this and the development of other energy efficiency initiatives.”

NYPA is offering an incentive to its municipal and rural cooperative customers for the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. The program is available to residential, commercial and municipal facilities and will cover solar projects as large as 10 kilowatts. The Power Authority will pay for approximately 50 percent of the installed cost. In addition, residential and commercial owners may be eligible to receive significant state and federal tax credits.  In lowering the capital cost for consumers and businesses, NYPA’s Solar Incentive Program will encourage investment in solar projects, decrease dependence on foreign fossil fuels and advance efforts to grow the clean energy economy in New York State.

NYPA anticipates that it can provide funding for approximately 50 to 80 PV systems statewide under the program. The program is open to all 51 municipal systems and rural cooperatives and participants will be designated by the individual systems.

Through the Solar Incentive Program and other critical efforts, NYPA is positioning New York State as a leader in solar energy industry, which will stimulate the economy with new clean energy jobs.  In addition to this program, the Power Authority is:

        -Advancing efforts to undertake the largest solar project in state history, which would result in the installation of 100 MW of solar power systems, including roof-mounted and ground-mounted PV arrays at municipal facilities, public and private schools, businesses and State agencies throughout New York;

       -Partnering with the University at Buffalo (UB) to install a 1.1 MW solar array, consisting of approximately 5,000 photovoltaic panels, which will generate power for a total of 735 student apartments, housing nearly 2,000 undergraduate and graduate UB students;

       -Supporting clean energy jobs in Western New York by entering into a contract that will allow a Western New York company, Solar Liberty, to install the bulk of the solar project at UB; and

       -Growing the clean energy economy in New York State through an allocation of 40 MW of low-cost hydropower to Globe Specialty Metals for the company’s reopening and expansion of a facility in Niagara Falls that will manufacture silicon for solar power systems and will create 500 jobs.

About NYPA:

■    The New York Power Authority uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation's largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of New York State and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.  ■    About 75 percent of the electricity it produces is clean renewable hydropower.  Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state.  ■    For more information, www.nypa.gov

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