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Sybac Solar withdraws proposal for solar farm in Shirley

Another big developer has withdrawn a plan to build a large commercial solar farm in Suffolk that was awarded as part of an ambitious 2014 LIPA request for more green energy.

Sybac Solar of Orlando, Florida, withdrew its proposed 10-megawatt solar farm on a parcel of land known as the Brookhaven Technology Center in Shirley, according to a statement from the company’s president.

The array was to be built on Ramsey Road and Natcon Drive, a short distance from the Long Island Expressway and William Floyd Parkway.

The withdrawal is the latest in a series of withdrawals from a LIPA request for proposals that had originally sought some 400 megawatts of green energy. In the end, LIPA awarded only around 120 megawatts. But in the months after that award, two big developers withdrew, including a 10-megawatt project planned for a wooded lot on Fairmont Avenue in Medford and a 16-megawatt proposal for a sod farm in Manorville. A megawatt of solar energy powers around 160 homes.

In a separate development last week, four separate commercial arrays planned by another commercial developer, SunEdison, for Nassau, Suffolk, East Hampton and Southold, appeared to hit financial snags after SunEdison filed for bankruptcy protection.

The Sybac project in Shirley is one of several the company has proposed throughout Suffolk County. Three separate projects totaling 4.7 megawatts were awarded as part of a LIPA bidding request known as a feed-in tariff for the same parcel of land in Shirley. A second project awarded by LIPA to Sybac was for Moriches Middle Island Road in Manorville. Sybac has also proposed a 10-megawatt project on Edwards Avenue in Calverton.

“Sybac Solar intends to proceed with the remaining LIPA projects we have been awarded,” Sybac president Artur Madej said in his statement.

PSEG spokesman Jeff Weir said withdrawn projects could ultimately be replaced by bidders in a newer request for proposals from PSEG seeking 210 megawatts of green power. The request is written to allow PSEG to award more than that amount, he said, if certain other awarded projects fell through.

Jack Krieger, a spokesman for Brookhaven, said the town’s Planning Department never received applications from Sybac for the Brookhaven Technology Center projects in Shirley.

Sybac said in a letter that it was forced to withdraw after “many discussions with Town of Brookhaven officials” who “will not allow us to build the 10-megawatt plant as awarded” by LIPA. Madej wrote that the main sticking point was the existence of a water treatment plant on the property, which the company said “was not known to Sybac when we first bid on the project.”

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