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Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) Long Island says the utility's new Clean Solar Initiative feed-in tariff (FIT) builds upon the Long Island Power Authority's (LIPA) solar energy programs and is designed to bring an additional 100 MW of solar energy to the region.

PSEG Long Island took over LIPA operations as of the first of the year.

After a four-month application period that ended on Jan. 31, PSEG Long Island has evaluated 178 proposals from 55 separate entities. The utility selected a final bid price of $0.1688/kWh to be paid to developers for solar photovoltaic systems. In total, this 100 MW of solar energy is expected to be generated from 76 separate projects.

"These auction results have yielded a price for solar energy almost 25 percent below the price being paid for the first feed-in-tariff on Long Island, for a savings of $8.1 million per year," says Michael Voltz, director of energy efficiency and renewables for PSEG Long Island.

The utility says the decline in FIT price reflects the following factors:

- Increased consumer awareness, understanding, availability and demand for solar energy;

- Competition among a growing solar industry on Long Island;

- Ongoing decline in costs of manufacturing and installing solar; and

- Federal, state and local tax incentives.

In an effort to reduce load on constrained areas and help defer, reduce or eliminate the need for new generation and infrastructure, PSEG Long Island has offered a premium of $0.07/ kWh for solar projects built in the designated areas located east of the Canal Substation in Southampton. However, less than the required 40 MW were accepted from that area. Therefore, the locational premium on South Fork projects will not be paid at this time.

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