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Letters: The case for rooftop solar energy

Workers cover an expansion joint in the roof

Workers cover an expansion joint in the roof of the Maj. Gen. Emmett J. Bean Federal Center in the northeast Indianapolis area of Lawrence, Ind., on March 31, 2011. Credit: AP

Proposals for ocean windmills or a huge solar installation are diversions [“Power projects aim to aid South Fork,” News, July 20]. Each requires study, costly installation, distribution systems, modification and maintenance. This will raise our electric bills.

The low-cost solution is homes and government buildings mounted with solar panels. The panels provide midday power to satisfy peak demand. Also, the home distribution system is already in place. It’s a direct path to the consumer instead of importing power via the grid. Billable delivery would be reduced. The only problem would be that the power companies would make less money.

Marvin Kefer, Massapequa


I have to agree with Richard Amper’s op-ed, “A false choice for green energy on LI” [July 10]. Rooftop solar is better than large solar farms that require clear-cutting hundreds of acres of trees.

Unfortunately, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo appears to have other motivations. In April, the Long Island solar rebate program ended. It was operated by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. By September, the popular Green Jobs Green New York solar-loan program will be scaled back. Why? It has to do with Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative funding. Each year in auctions, the state garners some $186 million from RGGI credits. This money is supposed to go to solar-rebate programs, efficiency and Green Jobs on-bill recovery loans.

However, this year, the governor raided $68 million of this money, which is administered by NYSERDA and which could have gone to rooftop solar installations.

The budget transferred $30 million to communities that lose property tax revenues from the closure of a power plant, $15 million to the state university system to create a Clean Energy Workforce Opportunity Program, and $23 million for tax credits for solar energy, green buildings and other clean-energy programs.

I bet the state will take more RGGI money now that the programs are ending or being scaled back. The people of Long Island need to get together and tell the governor this isn’t best for us.

Kevin MacLeod, Bay Shore

Editor’s note: The writer is president of the Long Island Coalition of Solar Providers, an industry group.