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Suffolk County Community College Approved for Solar Power - PV System

Brian Warner

November 22, 2006


WHITE PLAINS—Solar power, a clean renewable energy source, will soon help power one of the buildings at the Suffolk County Community College campus in Selden, Long Island.  

A $75,000 grant from the Petroleum Overcharge Restitution fund (POCR) has been approved by Gov. George E. Pataki for the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to install a roof-mounted, six-kilowatt (kw) photovoltaic array on the campus.

POCR funds were established from proceeds of court settlements relating to major oil company violations of federal price controls in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Here in New York State, the Power Authority administers the funds.

The solar panels will generate approximately 8,000-kilowatt-hours, enough electricity to power two to three average size homes. Photovoltaic cells are crystal silicon wafers, which when exposed to sunlight, generate electricity. At Suffolk County Community College, the array consists of 40 panels, each mounted to a ballast pan designed to withstand high wind speeds without the need for roof penetrations. This configuration has a footprint of about 650 square feet.

Power from the array flows to a power inverter situated in an electrical panel, and then converted into 6 kw of usable alternating current, about two to three percent of a building’s daily load. 

“Suffolk County Community College is proud to be a local leader in utilizing energy-efficient electrical power at our Selden campus,” said Dr. Shirley Robinson Pippins, college president. “Through the POCR grant, we have the opportunity to demonstrate to our students, faculty and staff, as well as to the community at large, that alternative sources of energy are both practical and cost-efficient.”

Under Governor Pataki’s leadership, NYPA has installed 25 photovoltaic arrays, producing 633 kw of clean renewable electricity.  NYPA recently earned a Platinum Award from the Solar Electric Power Association for its pioneering work in demonstrating the practicality of generating electricity from sunlight. In addition to its work with other renewable energy sources such as fuel cells, NYPA annually invests up to $100 million in energy efficient measures at publicly owned and facilities throughout the state.

About NYPA:

 ■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

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