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New York Business Install Solar, Save on Energy Costs

By: GetSolar Staff |

A New York business is now home to a new solar energy installation. DiCarolo Distributors Inc., a family-owned food service distributor, recently announced construction of the 904.2 kilowatt photovoltaic solar rooftop project was completed.

The solar project was installed at DiCarolo’s headquarter facility in Holtsville, N.Y. The installation, which includes more than 3,000 solar panels, is expected to generate 1,113,000 kW hours of energy every year. The project will also eliminate about 785 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from being released into the air annually.

John DiCarlo Sr., CEO of DiCarolo Distributors Inc., said the solar installation is part of the company’s push to be more “green.” The solar project is the company’s most successful and effective attempt at becoming more environmentally friendly, he said.

The solar installation at DiCarolo is now one of the largest roof-mounted solar arrays in Long Island, the company said. The project was made possible with the help of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) Clean Solar Initiative Feed-In Tariff (FIT) Program.

With the LIPA program, businesses like DiCarolo that install a solar project are paid a fixed rate for every kilowatt hour of energy their system produces under a 20-year power purchasing agreement with the utility. Solar projects larger than 50 kW are eligible for the LIPA feed-in tariff program, according to the utility’s website. LIPA sets a rate of $0.22 per kWh of electricity for its PPAs.

New York Businesses Using Solar
Other businesses have turned to solar energy installations to reduce environmental footprints and lower operation costs. Crosby’s, a western New York-based convenience and fuel retailer, recently installed a 198-panel solar project at its Lockport, N. Y., store, CSP Daily News reported. The installation is expected to generate about 55,500 kWh of electricity annually – about 20 percent of the store’s energy needs.

“It’s a 52-kilowatt green, mean electric machine,” Lockport Town Supervisor Marc R. Smith said, according to the source. “This is the wave of the future.”

Crosby is a subsidiary of Reid Petroleum, which operates 48 convenience stores in western New York. Reid Group CEO Paul Reid also commented on the new solar installation.

“Throughout our history Crosby’s and Reid Petroleum have focused on doing things differently and adopting innovative approaches to everyday operations as a way to really distinguish our brand from the competition,” Reid said. “This new solar array installation will allow us to save money and reduce energy consumption at our Lake Avenue location, while at the same time producing green, renewable power that reduces stress on the regional electric grid.”

Any excess energy generated by the solar array will be sold to New York State Electric & Gas Corp., CSP Daily News reported. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s NY-Sun program provided about 35 percent of the project’s cost. The program shows how the state of New York is dedicated to helping businesses increase their use of renewable energy.

“New York State’s economic future will be driven by responsible and innovative hometown businesses that are proactive in finding ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency, while at the same time offering great products and services to their customers,” said New York State Senator and Senate Energy Committee Chairman George Maziarz. “I’m pleased to have one of those businesses right here in Niagara County and applaud Crosby’s, Reid Petroleum and Montante Solar on this excellent renewable energy project.”

The NY-Sun program also recently helped Owens Corning, a producer of residential and commercial building materials, install a solar project at its New York thermal and acoustical insulation plant. The 2.7 megawatt project was the largest to date under the New York program, and will provide about 6 percent of the Owens’ plant annual energy needs.