Today, Long Island flipped the switch on the largest solar installation east of the Mississippi River. Located at Brookhaven National Laboratory, a 32 megawatt facility, “boasts the smallest footprint for a solar array of its output, further solidifying Long Island as a national leader in clean, renewable energy.” There was much excitement in New York today, including from Suffolk County Legislator Wayne Horsley, who was “de-lighted” to have learned of the project.
Brookhaven Lab’s deputy director for science & technology, Doon Gibbs, said “In addition to providing thousands of Long Island homes and businesses with clean, renewable electricity, this impressive solar array also offers Brookhaven Lab scientists a unique opportunity to study the challenges of deploying large-scale solar power installations in the northeastern U.S….” The project will provide enough energy to power 4,500 Long Island home and abate 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide as well as sulfur and nitrogen dioxide emissions.
In addition to the clean energy benefits, the local environment also wins in terms of ecological integrity. According to the press release: “LIPA will provide $2 million for open space preservation within the Central Pine Barrens Region; Brookhaven Lab will preserve an additional 51 acres of property that builds upon the 500-plus acres it previously preserved in the 1990s; and BP Solar will provide $75,000 for ecological habitat, research and restoration.”