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Letter: Gov’t and utility ought to join forces

This massive solar farm, hard at work on

This massive solar farm, hard at work on April 4, 2015, sits along Edwards Avenue in Calverton. Credit: Steve Pfost

Newsday is partly correct in writing, “Let’s get a study done quickly — perhaps Suffolk could take the lead — and make sure the solar power we develop makes sense” [Editorial, Nov. 24]. Any solar project responsibly permitted makes sense.

A recent PSEG Long Island analysis concluded, “Long Island has even more excess power than previously projected, enough to forestall the need for a big new generating plant until 2028” [“More power to you,” News, Nov. 23]. By moving forward with more solar projects now, we might avoid building a new generating station.

Peaking station contracts expiring over the next five years should be replaced by solar arrays rather than upgrading the generators. Solar arrays could avoid offshore wind turbines. If by 2028 there is excess power from generating stations and solar arrays, Long Island could export power instead of importing it.

Suffolk and Nassau counties and New York State government should look for every opportunity to enter cooperative agreements with PSEG, develop public-private partnerships and fight for incentives and tax breaks. Dual-use projects such as locating arrays over utility rights of way, solar panel sound barrier walls along expressways or parkways, or arrays over open space to protect aquifers are all natural win-wins.

James T. Rooney, Centerport

Editor’s note: The writer is a former power generation engineer.