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PSEG affiliate acquires 10.6-megawatt solar farm in West Babylon

A PSEG-affiliate company has acquired a commercial-scale solar farm in West Babylon from developer Solar Liberty in a deal valued at between $20 million and $25 million.

PSEG Solar Source, a subsidiary of PSEG Power, said Wednesday that its acquisition of the 10.6-megawatt solar array comes as construction of the facility on an unused portion of St. John’s Roman Catholic Cemetery has been completed and it is preparing to send power to the LIPA electric grid next month. PSEG Power is a power-generation sister company of PSEG Long Island. Both are under the umbrella of New Jersey conglomerate Public Service Enterprise Group.

The acquisition marks PSEG Solar Source’s first solar-farm in the state. “We would absolutely entertain other projects in New York,” said Marc Reimer, vice president of development for PSEG Solar Source. The strategy, he said, is to acquire facilities for which development is largely completed, he added.

As part of the Solar Liberty acquisition, PSEG Solar Source gets tax benefits from the project, including federal investment tax credits. The project has a 20-year contract through which LIPA will purchase all the energy it produces at a price of just under 17 cents a kilowatt hour. The project was developed under a LIPA feed-in tariff program.

“The economics worked for everyone involved,” Reimer said.

There will be no full-time employees at the facility, and Solar Liberty will operate it for PSEG Solar.

Solar Liberty of Buffalo initially proposed the project to LIPA, and brought it from concept to development, to PSEG Solar’s specifications, Reimer said. PSEG signed an agreement in principle with Solar Liberty around nine months ago, he said, adding that PSEG Solar “definitely does not get any favorable treatment” as a result of its PSEG affiliation.

Solar Liberty couldn’t be reached for comment, but in a prepared statement, its president, Adam Rizzo, said: “New York has made a commitment to increasing clean energy and we are proud that this facility will play a part in fulfilling that commitment here on Long Island.”

The West Babylon facility is one of 22 PSEG Solar owns in 14 states.

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