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LIPA, FREE and EmPower Partner for the Largest PV Installation on LI

45 New PV systems at FREE will reduce utility expenses by 27 percent annually. Public & Private Partnership receives PV America Photovoltaic Project of Distinction National Award.

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Old Bethpage, NY-April 21, 2011---The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) in partnership with Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (FREE) and EmPower Solar today celebrated Long Island's largest multi-site solar PV installation, which was the installation of 45 new photovoltaic systems (PV) on the not-for-profit FREE facilities designed to help reduce their electric bills.

Long Island has never had such an installation in solar arrays by a single entity at the number of facilities, and this is one of the largest investments in renewable energy in terms of total size (almost 800kW) and the Old Bethpage array at 124kW is the largest single installation LIPA has rebated.

Working with LIPA, FREE, a not-for-profit organization offering community living opportunities and alternatives to provide independent living, commissioned EmPower Solar to install this extensive solar PV project at their four commercial and forty-one residential properties across Long Island. The arrays vary in size from a 2.07kW residential system in Patchogue to a 124kW system at their main facility in Old Bethpage. The 45 PV systems total almost 800 kilowatts (kW) and will produce approximately 1,018,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity annually reducing utility expenses by 27 percent per year that FREE will be reinvesting back into their programs. In addition to the annual reduction in utility costs, LIPA's Solar Entrepreneur program provided incentives to mitigate the costs and make the choice to install the solar PV systems at all these locations economically beneficial.

"LIPA was pleased to work with both FREE and EmPower Solar in one of the biggest investments in solar and renewable energy in the state of New York," said LIPA Chief Operating Officer, Michael D. Hervey. "This project demonstrates how creative thinking and private/public partnerships can achieve substantial cost savings and greater efficiencies, foster clean energy jobs, build community relationships, cut energy use and reduce our carbon footprint; while at the same time ensuring that vital programs and services are provided, especially to people in need. It is the definitive win, win, win - good for our environment, our economy, and our communities."

"One of our root values is to partner with neighborhoods and communities and we are so proud to partner with LIPA and EmPower Solar, cutting edge producers of technology, to help us reduce our carbon footprint and energy costs" said Robert S. Budd, Chief Executive Officer, Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (FREE), a Long Island based human services not-for-profit agency. "We are also honored to be a recipient with LIPA and EmPower Solar of the prestigious Photovoltaic Project of Distinction Award. FREE prides itself on innovation and incorporating solar technology at our locations is an important step in our going green initiative and energy conservation."

Earlier this month all three entities were invited to Philadelphia where they were presented with the Photovoltaic Projects of Distinction Award given by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA)

The award was one of three Projects of Distinction handed out and recognizes major achievements in the U.S. solar energy market that has been accomplished by companies, individuals, and projects. More than 150 submissions from all over the country were judged by an independent, non-partisan panel comprising 16 industry leaders, representing associations, consultants, distributors, government, integrators, manufacturers and utilities. To qualify for the award, all projects had to be operational and demonstrate a collective benefit to the community and innovative use of policy and financing to enhance the project's impact.

"The FREE Solar Project demonstrates that solar can dramatically reduce an organization's operating costs and improve its environmental footprint. It proves that solar is ready for prime time," said David G. Schieren, CEO, EmPower Solar. "Receiving the Photovoltaic Project of Distinction Award from SEIA and SEPA was a special honor and is testament to the vision and determination of our partners, FREE and LIPA. It is through this type of partnering and collaboration; we will make solar the dominant energy technology of the 21st century."

"Solar is not only the fastest growing industry in America, but the most exciting, and the recipients of these awards show why," says Rhone Resch, President and CEO of SEIA. "Every year, we see more innovation in how builders and developers are putting solar to work for America. From schools and churches to government buildings, homes and
businesses, more and more Americans are finding that solar is the most reliable, safe and cost effective energy choice for their community."

"Each of the three award winners made innovative use of the unique advantages of PV to meet their respective community energy needs," says Bob Gibson, Vice President, Market Intelligence, SEPA. "Two of the winners, the Silver Lake facility and the Family Residences and Essential Enterprises (FREE) project, demonstrate how electric utilities provide leadership to expand the use of solar power. At Silver Lake, the Western Massachusetts Electric Company demonstrated how PV can make productive use of an environmentally impaired site, and did so under budget. At FREE, the Long Island Power Authority was the catalyst for a partnership that created local jobs and put emission-free solar power in the homes of individuals in need of community assistance."

"Government must continue to partner with not-for-profits and the private sector to develop alternative energy sources and reduce costs," said Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano. "I commend LIPA for investing in a solar entrepreneur program to provide the incentives needed to mitigate installation expenses and reduce energy costs at FREE's 45 properties across Long Island."

"These 45 solar arrays will benefit all Long Islanders for many decades by generating electricity without polluting our environment or importing fossil fuels and by keeping millions of dollars in the local economy," said Gordian Raacke, Executive Director of the not-for-profit organization Renewable Energy Long Island. "We congratulate LIPA, FREE, and Empower to receiving the PV America Award and applaud the partnership for bringing more solar power to Long Island."

Since 2000, LIPA's solar programs have rebated over $105 million for the installation of 4,196 PV systems at a name plate capacity of 30 MW (DC) or a total of over 33,000 MWh (AC) annually in LIPA's service territory while acting as a catalyst to stimulate the clean energy job market on Long Island.

To learn more about LIPA's solar programs visit the website at


Mark Gross
516-719-9892 or 516-229-7248 (cell)

For EmPower Solar
Don Miller
Harrison Leifer DiMarco Public Relations
516-536-2020 or 516-330-1647 (cell)

Patrice Radowitz
516-820-1621 or 631- 533-7432 (cell)