Clean Energy Task Force Holds February Meeting

Vision Long Island was out at the February meeting of the Clean Energy Leadership Task Force, held at the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College in Farmingdale.  The Task Force brings together Long Island municipalities with state and federal government, power authorities, utilities, and environmental leaders to advance clean and renewable energy solutions and initiatives at the local level.

Neal Lewis, Executive Director of Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, opened the meeting by welcoming over 50 attendees, including Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment and John Franceschina, Senior Manager of Energy Efficiency and Demand Response Programs at PSEG Long Island.

Neal went on to discuss the critical effects of climate change that exist right now while outlining recent efforts to help combat this crisis.  He cited open C-PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy), a bipartisan measure, which is now available and provides an important mechanism to finance mandated solar installations by providing a low-cost/long-term alternative to traditional loans to fund clean energy projects in commercially owned buildings.

The need for the adoption of the NYStretch Energy Code was also discussed. A pivotal tool in supporting communities’ sustainability goals, NYStretch Energy Code requires new and renovated properties to go above and beyond existing minimum code requirements. The task force plans to aid in the adoption of this ambitious effort.

The first keynote presentation, Offshore Wind Energy Off Long Island’s South Shore, was presented by Julia Bovey, director of external affairs for Equinor Wind US. Ms. Bovey outlined Equinor’s New York 816 megawatt project which will help implement the State’s ambitious plans to reform the grid for a clean energy future.

South Brooklyn Marine Terminal is proposed for the long-term operations and maintenance base and Homeport Pier, the proposed point of final foundation staging. The wind site will extend 15 miles from the shore at its closest point on the southeast of Long Island (Jones Beach). Issues such as visibility, lighting systems and marine impacts were discussed. Ms. Bovey noted public support for projects such as these are better than years past, but education must continue. Equinor hopes to have the EIS completed by the end of 2021.

Jay Egg, founder of Egg Geothermal, discussed the benefits of geothermal systems which uses the ambient temperature of the earth to generate a year-round supply of renewable heating and air conditioning. A new technology, striving to become its own unique utility.

Rosemary Mascali, manager of Transit Solutions and steering committee member of Drive Electric LI, discussed the coalition’s present focus which includes electric school buses, shared services, procurement and fleet recharge.

Kudos to Neal Lewis and the task force for outlining global problems affecting our local region, and bringing local stakeholders and experts together to produce concrete solutions.