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Long Island Energy Plan Draws Praise

In January, LIPA approved construction of the nationís largest offshore wind farm. (David Dixon/Wikimedia Commons)
In January, LIPA approved construction of the nationís largest offshore wind farm. (David Dixon/Wikimedia Commons)
June 23, 2017

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. – The Long Island Power Authority and PSE&G Integrated Resource Plan is getting high marks from environmental, labor and business groups. The plan was five years in the making and gives an in-depth analysis of Long Island's energy needs over the next 30 years.

It recommends displacing fossil fuel power generation in favor of renewables, like wind and solar.

According to Lisa Dix, the New York senior representative for the Sierra Club, the plan is not only much better for the environment, it's also the most cost-effective alternative.

"Increasing investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, demand response and behind-the-meter renewables is really going to get Long Island ratepayers a lot of savings over time on their utility bills," she says.

The plan also will help New York State reach its goal of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.

Liz Gordon, director of the New York Offshore Wind Alliance, points out that Long Island is well positioned to get maximum benefit from an abundant natural resource.

"There's a great deal of potential for offshore wind on Long Island, given its proximity to parts of the ocean that are incredibly windy and build-able, and near a population center that's got lots of energy needs," Gordon explains.

In January, the Long Island Power Authority approved the nation's largest offshore wind farm off Long Island's south fork.

Dix notes that labor leaders on Long Island are also enthusiastically supporting the plan.

"This is going to ensure high-wage union jobs over the next decade, as offshore wind and other renewables are built to scale on Long Island," Dix adds.

Dix is convinced the plan can serve as a model for energy-resource planning for the entire nation.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY